Groupon Founders’ Master Plan: Build More Groupons Tech News and Analysis
With the news that Groupon is filing IPO, people are poring over the fine details and wondering what it means. There are plenty of questions to ask: how should you feel about the fact that the company lost $413 million last year? Is the company’s valuation too exuberant? And what about the discovery that the majority of the $946 million in funding that the company raised recently has been used to pay early investors?
That last part is particularly interesting, and entirely true: according to the filing itself, two of the company’s co-founders — serial entrepreneurs Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell — used Groupon’s winter funding round to cash out shares to the tune of $451 million.
The duo were there right at the beginning, helping Andrew Mason build and fund Groupon when it was still a community action site known as ThePoint.com. What are they going to do with all that cash now?
It turns out that the answer is simple: build more Groupons.
Or, more accurately, they plan to apply the lessons of Groupon’s success to other companies through an investment vehicle called Lightbank.