Bloomberg is reporting that group-buy site Groupon is in talks with banks about an initial public offering that would value the online local advertising platform – with its 70 million users in 500 cities – no lower than $15 billion, and as high as $25 billion. When Google went public in August 2004, it had a valuation of $23 billion.
Sure the online local advertising market is big, and set to get bigger as the Web goes mobile; and most businesses are local businesses after all. But Google’s online ad businesses runs off the genius and domination of its search engine. Whilst there are some super smart people on Andrew Mason’s Groupon team – Groupon won the social commerce app of the year at the Crunchies tech oscars last year – they have no killer app supporting them. It’s a lot easier to choose LivingSocial over Groupon than Bing over Google.
Groupon IPO, Facebook IPO, Eni Meni Mino Mo… (Did somebody just whisper Facebook Deals?)