Gobal Event and Leadership

Global Events and Leadership

Groupon – The Fastest Growing Company Ever
Nowadays, a variety of web sites sell discount vouchers for different products and services.   To customers, discount vouchers promise substantial savings – often more than 50% or more.   To merchants, it offers opportunities for price discrimination as well as adverting.   Best known among voucher vendors is Chicago-based Groupon (blending “groups” and “coupon”), a two years old startup that purportedly rejected a USD6bn acquisition offer from Google in 2010 in favor of an IPO at yet-higher valuation.

Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates.   The vision of the company is simple – “Treat customers the way they like to be treated”.   Groupon was launched in 2008 in Chicago and now serves 250 markets around the world with over 7000 staff and has amassed 35 million registered users.

Groupon acts as ‘assurance” – the offer only available if it achieves certain number of people who purchase the deal.   It usually shares 50% of the revenue that charged to customers.   The company also sends promotion items via email to its registered members.   Groupon’s market primarily composes of female customers (age between 18 and 34), thus the deals are often focused on the health, fitness and beauty markets.

The fast expansion of the company can also be explained by its active acquisition strategy over different countries thus successfully increase the penetration rate.

Andrew Mason (30 years old) is the founder / CEO of Groupon.   Others members of senior management are very experienced and most of them are from IT related industry (e.g Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and Silicon Valley etc).   However, two senior executives had resigned recently (Ms. Margo Georgiadis after six months services and Rob Solomon after one and half year service) after the deferring of the IPO.

Given this business model and the low barriers to entry on the...