That's right, folks! All we have to do is get together a big group of people who are willing to pay only $14 for one share of GRPN and the market will happily oblige.
IPOs are not my thing. My bio says, "I only cover things when it disgusts me that other people cannot see them" and unless you've been living in a cave or are stupid enough to pay retail for that totally awesome guided crawfish hunting expedition at the local creek that savvy Grouponiers are getting for 50% off, you know that the blogosphere has been widely panning the prospects of this Social Marketing company. So it would seem I should not be disgusted, and all is right with the world. If anything, I should cover it long because there is some hidden gem of genius in the model, it is not in fact a giant Ponzi scheme, and the emperor does indeed wear not just any clothes, but a faaaaabulously ironic hipster wardrobe (60% off at the Thrift Store!) But, sometimes you call a duck a duck, and this is a large, juicy duck I cannot pass up.
I basically agree with the other short articles (and the long one, except the price prediction) on all the reasons why this dog don't hunt. I would be remiss not to add a bit of my own flair, and since this company is the latest darling of Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, I feel the need to rub it in.
Congratulations to Ted. While the 99% are complaining that the rich get richer, Ted, unabashedly of the 1%, has gotten a lot richer, by funding a company that helps the 99% clip coupons from their smartphones. Oh, the irony! Hey, irony... this is a hipster company, isn't it? Ted is a capitalist and has made his money in a way that I can appreciate, but he has two thing going against him: 1. Caps suck! and 2. He appears to have better luck with private sales than public offerings.
His lucrative stint at AOL began in a private acquisition, and he sold Revolution Money to American Express in 2009, not even three years after embarking on the endeavor. Then observe what happened with AOL and Time Warner on the public market. Maybe that wasn't Ted's fault, but my point is that he has typically been a visionary, an early entrant in successful startups. With all the puff about "fastest growing company ever" -- and someone please fact check that claim for me -- the term "successful startup" describes GRPN perfectly. However, monstrous $30 billion enterprise? Not so much.
I wonder what Ted's Take was on the $6B GOOG offer. Selling and taking a good clean profit probably looked pretty good, although right at this moment the IPO appears to have been the smart move. There is another connection between Ted and the GOOG deal. After spurning Google, Groupon was effectively cornered into an IPO, the M&A world's equivalent to the free agent market. Nobody else was going to shell out six or seven billion dollars for the startup, so GRPN's non-financially motivated rejection of the offer and Google's lack of a counteroffer was tantamount to a spendthrift hockey GM in splurge mode, who is desperately trying to give away money to reach the salary floor, telling his star goalie to go test free agency rather than make him an offer he cannot refuse. Where have we heard this story before? Oh right, Tomas Vokoun, the goaltender for the Caps. His free agency story isn't over yet, and some believe he'll get his payday next year, but for now the rejection of the Panthers doesn't appear to have worked out for Vokoun, as one of the best goalies in the league is now making just a little more than the arena popcorn vendors. Oh, and I bet Ovechkin thinks Ted is fat too, just like Bruce Boudreau! Lol!!