Groupon: Up 88% in first post-Mason year

February 28, 2014: 11:05 AM ET

It's been one year since Groupon fired its idiosyncratic founder. And things are looking up (with a long way to go).

FORTUNE -- One year ago today, Groupon (GRPN) founder Andrew Mason announced via blog post that he had been fired as the daily deal company's CEO. Since then, the company's stock is up nearly 88%:


To be sure, it's not exactly a turnaround. The company is still well below its $20 per share IPO price, let alone its all-time high of $26.19 on November 14, 2011.

But an 88% bump is still impressive, so this morning I asked Groupon board member Peter Barris to identify the most valuable chance Groupon has made over the past year. His reply about stabilizing the Chicago-based company's international business, which was plummeting (over a combination of poor strategy and pricing pressure).  It wasn't a terribly surprising comment to those who have followed Groupon, but was interesting in light of something else Barris said about the company's early days:

"We would tell Andrew that he'd done great in Chicago, but he'd get frustrated when we'd ask him for how he was going to expand to four markets," Barris said. "And then he'd come up with that plan, and we'd ask him about getting to 8 or 15 markets... What we had to keep explaining to him was that scale would be his competitive advantage."

As for Mason, he went on to record an album of motivational business songs. No word yet on if he's planning another startup.

Sign up for Dan Primack's daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers:

  • Groupon's answer to Amazon's drones

    Groupon goes medieval on Amazon.

    FORTUNE -- Groupon has seen all the buzz about Amazon's (AMZN) drones, and has decided to reach back to a slightly-older technology: Catapults.

    In a video posted today on its YouTube channel, Groupon (GRPN) chided its e-commerce rival by facetiously promising to look forward by looking back. "We're talking about about principles of package delivery that have been around since the time of King Arthur," says someone Groupon identifies as MORE

    - Dec 11, 2013 12:55 PM ET
    Posted in: ,
  • Where does Groupon CEO move leave Lightbank?

    Eric Lefkosky is now CEO of Groupon. What does that mean for his venture capital firm?

    FORTUNE -- Groupon (GRPN) today named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as fulltime CEO, nearly six months after firing motivational troubadour Andrew Mason.

    Lefkofsky had been sharing the role on an interim basis with investor Ted Leonsis, who will assume the chairmanship role. The company originally had planned to hire an executive recruiting firm to find a new leader (i.e., MORE

    - Aug 7, 2013 7:23 PM ET
  • Hyperpublic founders form new startup

    Getting the Hyperpublic band back together, with $3 million in VC funding.

    FORTUNE -- Jordan Cooper and Doug Petkanics have launched a new mobile Internet startup, one year after their last effort, Hyperpublic, was acquired by Groupon (GRPN). They also have raised their first round of venture capital.

    Hyperpublic was a New York-based company that built databases of local information, and then made them available to developers free-of-charge. Included in those databases were MORE

    - Jul 15, 2013 4:05 PM ET
  • Of Groupon and miniature dollhouses

    'Andrew Mason' finally responds to our questions.

    FORTUNE -- Back in December 2010, it was impossible to get away from reports that Google (GOOG) was in talks to acquire Groupon (GRPN) for $6 billion. But when the NY Times reached out to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason for comment, he said that he would agree to an interview "only if you want to talk about my other passion, building miniature dollhouses."

    For some reason MORE

    - Mar 5, 2013 11:42 AM ET
    Posted in: ,
  • Source: Groupon's Mason 'knew' he'd be fired

    Groupon CEO saw it coming.

    FORTUNE -- Andrew Mason was officially fired as CEO of Groupon (GRPN) last Thursday, but it didn't come as a surprise to the 31 year-old.

    A source close to the situation says Mason "totally knew" that the board planned to replace him during its quarterly meeting, and that there had been a "continuing dialog" over his future role with the company.

    Rumors that Mason would be axed began MORE

    - Mar 4, 2013 12:33 PM ET
    Posted in: ,
  • Groupon's impact on Chicago's startups

    Has Groupon helped or 'done zilch' for Chicago tech?

    FORTUNE -- Last week Erin Griffith wrote that a 2013 IPO for flash sales site Gilt Groupe would be huge for the New York City tech scene. Venture capitalist Greg Gretsch followed up by tweeting that the IPO itself must be long-term successful for it to matter in NYC, since Groupon's IPO (GRPN) "has done zilch for the Chicago tech scene."

    First, let's all acknowledge MORE

    - Jan 14, 2013 2:11 PM ET
  • What Groupon paid for Savored

    A $20 million reservation?

    FORTUNE -- Groupon (GRPN) yesterday acquired Savored, a digital provider of restaurant reservations and reviews, in a move that seemed designed to muscle in a bit on OpenTable's (OPEN) turf.

    No financial terms were disclosed, but Fortune has learned that the purchase price was between $15 million and $20 million (including earn-outs). At least some of it was paid in cash.

    Our source adds that the two companies actually MORE

    - Sep 25, 2012 12:41 PM ET
    Posted in: , ,
  • What WSJ got wrong about Groupon

    Are VCs really backing away from Groupon?

    FORTUNE -- Have you heard that early Groupon (GRPN) investors are bailing on the company? Well, some of them. Maybe less than half. But one of them is a big name, so it must mean the entire Internet sector is screwed.

    Does this strike you as a bit confusing? Well then, it seems you aren't an editor at The Wall Street Journal, which put this muddle MORE

    - Aug 20, 2012 5:13 PM ET
  • Groupon beats revenue estimates

    Groupon impresses in its first earnings report as a public company.

    Groupon (GRPN) today reported better-than-expected revenue today, in its first quarterly report since going public last November.

    The Chicago-based daily deals company reported $506.5 million in Q4 2011 revenue, compared to $172.2 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue also rose 18% quarter-over-quarter, with Q1 2012 revenue guidance of between $510 million and $550 million.

    . Gross billings rose 201% year-to-year, to $1.25 MORE

    - Feb 8, 2012 4:05 PM ET
    Posted in:
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by VIP.