Groupon's IPO made us chuckle

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Groupon's IPO made us chuckle

(CBS) - Hot startup Groupon, the site that's given us much spending angst with their deadline-oriented discounts, filed to raise up to $750 million on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Right now, the service has 83.1 million subscribers and deals with 57,000 local merchants in 43 countries.

With a revenue of $713 million in 2010 (up $30 million from 2009), the site's daily deals often run from 50 to 70 percent. (Great bargains, say subscribers.) It offers discounts on movies, travel tours, restaurants, even fire-dancing classes - and have succeeded in getting visitors into doing so.

Now it's time to woo shareholders.

As Groupon goes public, we were delighted to see not-so-corporate-y speak in founder Andrew Mason's letter to potential investors. Some highlights:

"A year later, I started Groupon to get Eric [Lefkofsky, Mason's former employer and co-founder of The Point, a website he launched in 2007] to stop bugging me to find a business model."

"Life is too short to be a boring company."

"As with any business in a 30-month-old industry, the path to success will have twists and turns, moments of brilliance and other moments of sheer stupidity."

Then, a footnote at the end of the memo on, Grouspawn, a sweet arrangement Mason mentioned in the IPO. It's a foundation Groupon created that awards college scholarships to babies whose parents used a Groupon on their first date. So before you cringe at that guy you just met for using a coupon during your initial outing, think what this could do for your offspring should things work out.

  • Ysolt Usigan

    Ysolt Usigan is the editor of lifestyle and technology for women at