Groupon the online coupon Company that Google tried to buy for $5B but was rejected is set to move into the Australian market according to recent reports.
Yesterday Groupon got consent to raise up to $950 million in what would be the biggest round of equity financing by any company since Pixar in 1995 claims Reuters.
The capital raising would value Groupon at between $6.4 billion and $7.8 billion, depending on the number of shares issued, according to VC Experts, a research firm that specializes in providing data on private companies.
Fairfax Media claims that the company is recruiting people to sign up to its email database in Australia before a launch next month into a market that is becoming crowded. The No. 2 player, Living Social, abandoned plans to start from scratch in Australia, opting instead for a joint venture with an existing company, Jumponit.
But because an existing Australian deals company has had its application to use the Groupon name in Australia approved, the Chicago company has been forced to use the domain name of Stardeals in Australia.
Groupon has engaged the lawyers Clayton Utz to take action against Scoopon, a Victorian company that has been offering online deals on products and services in Australian cities for more than four years.
Groupon lodged an intellectual property action in the Federal Court in Victoria in August and is due to go for mediation on January 21 or, failing that, to the courts on February 4.
Groupon, with annual revenue said to range from $500 million to $2 billion, sends members daily e-mails with steeply discounted deals from local merchants. The deals are activated when a certain number of people agree to make a purchase.
Groupon said in a recent filing that the shares shall automatically be converted into common stock if the company goes public.
The document, an amended and restated certificate of incorporation, was filed December 17.
Described by some as the fastest-growing Internet start-up in history, Groupon’s backers include Digital Sky Technologies, which also is an investor in Facebook.
The move for new funding comes a month after reports that Groupon was in talks to sell itself to Google Inc for up to $6 billion. Google’s shares fell on those reports amid concern the web advertising company would be overpaying.