In the articles Josh linked, a couple of things jump out at me. First, the mastermind who grew them so fast is no longer even involved in daily operations. Secondly, with this IPO they are raising enough money to advertise for about 3 quarters at their previous rate, losing $170M/quarter. It's nice that they can turn the marketing on or off at a whim, but should be disconcerting that it does not appear to necessarily produce an immediate return in either new subscribers or profitable voucher purchases.
I have to say, my gut feeling on this is that the business model is fundamentally flawed, and as the bearish article states, there is no moat around it. Imagine for example if AMZN instituted "buying groups" or whatever, where you got big discounts as long as you bought 10 or 15 "product of the day" products per year. It wouldn't kill GRPN, because GRPN has so much local service business, but the concept could be applied locally. They are a middle-man for advertising local services. The Pennysaver of the web. But we already have Facebook and Google and Foursquare, etc. where businesses can point and click to directly advertise to specific demographics, so I don't see the point.
I am willing to be dead wrong on this, and it seems like the market rewards the zaniest business models. But if GOOG, who has purchased a public company recently at a premium, thought they were worth $6B, then that's probably close to a fair price. I doubt they are really worth much more than that. Buying a smidgeon of a 5% stake on the open market is one thing, but does anyone really see an exit for GRPN involving a $20B acquisition?