Groupon was launched by Andrew Mason in November of 2008 and, since its inception, has become the fastest growing web startup in history, according to Forbes.
As an offshoot of online collective action and fundraising initiative The Point, Mason began to realize the immense power of group buying. A fundamental law of economics is that bulk purchases lower costs, so Mason turned that idea to the web and created Groupon, which offers deal-of-the-day discounts – agreed upon by participating businesses and retailers.
The result is a miraculous win-win-win scenario in which consumers are able to purchase deals at rates that would otherwise be impossible, participating businesses acquire new customers and revenue streams and, most importantly, Groupon gets a cut of the transaction.
The group buying innovation has led to rapid growth for the small Chicago company with a projected revenue of $500 million for 2010 and an estimated value of more than $1.3 billion.
But what sets Groupon apart from an operational standpoint is the eccentricity and ambition of founder and CEO Andrew Mason, who has reportedly rejected a string of multi-billion buyout offers – the most recent of which was a $6 billion proposal from Google.
As a result, rumors have surfaced that the company may be able to go public by 2013.