Sunday, April 18, 2010

Groupon Deal of the Day: $135m venture round, $1b+ valuation- kakaka ching


Total dollars saved


Total Groupons bought


Launched in November 2008, Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the United States. We have about 200 wonderful people working in our Chicago office (a handful of whom you can see to your right), along with a smattering of people in Groupon's other cities.

Our company philosophy is pretty simple: we treat our customers the way we like to be treated. That boils down to a few key things:

We sell stuff we want to buy. A great price is only half the battle - it's also got to be a great product or service. Between our top-rated business partners and unbeatable prices, you should feel comfortable venturing out and trying something new - just because it's featured on Groupon. We want Groupon to be an addiction you can feel good about.

No BS. We really want you to love Groupon. "Gotchas" and buried conditions that sour the experience are a terrible way to accomplish that goal. We want each Groupon purchase to feel too good to be true, from the moment you buy to the day you use it. If there's anything unusual about a deal (e.g. an inconvenient location), we go out of our way to point it out.

Unbelievable customer service. Like you, we've suffered through hour-long "transfer-athons" with customer service departments, or waited days for an email reply to to a simple question. If you contact us, we'll do what it takes to make things right - and we'll do it fast. Email us, or speak with a human (during normal business hours): (877) 788-7858

Groupon Origins

Groupon grew out of a website called The Point, a website launched in November 2007 that lets you start a campaign asking people to give money or do something as a group — but only once a "tipping point" of people agree to participate. By delaying action until enough people come together to have a real impact, The Point helps consumers, employees, citizens, activists, parents — or anyone — come together and solve problems that they couldn't solve alone. Learn more about The Point here.

We came up with the patent-pending idea for Groupon as an antidote to a common ailment for us city-dwellers: there's so much cool stuff to do, but the choice can be overwhelming. With so many options, sometimes the easiest thing is to go to a familiar restaurant, or just stay at home and watch a movie. As a result, we miss out on trying all the cool things our cities have to offer. By focusing on one good or service each day, Groupon makes it simple. And by leveraging The Point's framework for collective buying, Groupon is able to offer deals that make it very difficult to say no.

While we started Groupon as a side project of The Point, it's taken on a life of its own, and now occupies the vast majority of our time here at The Point.

Our People

The Groupon staff performs Bach BWV 248 No. 2 "Brich An, O Schones Morgenlicht" at the Chicago Lyric Opera, 10/27/09

Groupon's people are our most valuable asset. Everything about Groupon is a reflection of the interests and ethics of its wonderful staff.

Andrew Mason Founder/CEO (email, twitter)
Andrew Mason is the founder of Groupon as well as The Point, the collective action platform from which Groupon was born. Andrew's mostly unremarkable existence began in Pittsburgh, PA; he moved to Chicago in 1999 to attend Northwestern University, where he lives today with his girlfriend and over 20 cats. Andrew graduated with a degree in music, the uselessness of which served as a chief inspiration to not be useless. Out of college, Andrew became a software developer by no ambition of his own, but via a series of acquaintances offering to give him money to do incrementally harder stuff on computers. Excited by the power of technology to change the world, Andrew developed Policy Tree, a policy debate visualization tool, and won a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy in 2006. In school for only 3 months, the flighty Andrew dropped out after receiving an unexpected offer to fund the idea that would become The Point. The Point, a ground-breaking approach to online collective action and fundraising, launched in November 2007. One year later, Andrew founded Groupon, leveraging the collective buying technology of The Point to make it easier (and cheaper) to experience all the great stuff in Chicago. At various points in his life, Andrew has also started businesses to deliver bagels as if they were newspapers, and sell muffins with cranberries that he found in his backyard to people living on his street.

Ken Pelletier CTO (email, twitter)
Ken was born and raised in the Boston, MA area, and is a 14-year transplant to Chicago, IL. Ken studied Computer Science at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. and has been working professionally in technology for over 20 years. Ken was Director of Technology at an industry-leading software company, McCracken Computer, Lexington, MA. Following that, he participated in the development of a key public technology offering at The Open Software Foundation (OSF), an industry-wide software technology consortium in Cambridge, MA. As founder and principal of NiKA Software, an independent software consultancy, his clients included technology-forward companies in the US, UK, Ireland and France. Ken’s interest in emerging software technology led him to a position as a NEXTSTEP consultant with NeXT Computer, Inc. Most recently, as Senior Software Architect, Ken helped launch an online travel distribution platform at G2 Switchworks, Chicago, IL. Aside from software technology, Ken has a keen interest in visual design, cognitive science, linguistics, and has been a performing and recording musician.

Also check out Groupon's Board of Directors

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