Inside these posts: daily deals

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Local Offer Network raises $1.5M

Local Offer Network, a Chicago technology company that aggregates daily deals from providers such as Groupon, has raised $1.5 million in a Series A round led by Matthew Pritzker and IllinoisVentures. Get the full story »

‘Daily deals’ come to Bing with a reported glitch

Microsoft has launched a daily deals service, integrating offers from industry leaders such as Groupon and LivingSocial into its Bing search engine for the desktop and mobile devices.

The move puts Microsoft into the daily deals space, but as an aggregator rather than a direct provider of discounts. Yahoo! launched an aggregation service, Local Offers, in November. Get the full story »

New report estimates Groupon’s worth at $6 billion

From TechCrunch | SharesPost, a marketplace for private stock sales, released a report Thursday stating that Chicago-based daily deal site Groupon is worth about $6 billion (between $5.95 billion and $6.07 billion, to be exact).

Facebook expands its Groupon-like service

From The New York Times DealBook | Facebook is introducing its discount shopping service to five European countries and Canada as part of its push to help brands communicate with its users.

Google preparing to test Groupon fighter

Google Inc., after failing to acquire daily-deals Web site Groupon Inc., said it is preparing to test a competing service that offers deals to local businesses such as restaurants.

The Internet search giant, which on Thursday also announced that co-founder Larry Page would take over as chief executive from Eric Schmidt, didn’t release details about the new effort — Google Offers — that aims to grab a larger share of the small but growing online-ad market for local businesses. Get the full story »

Goldman’s Blankfein pitches for Groupon’s IPO

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein went to Chicago to pitch Groupon executives on hiring his bank to underwrite the online coupon company’s initial public offering, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The report was attributed to a single unnamed source. Get the full story »

Groupon meets with bankers to explore IPO

Groupon’s executives held a series of meetings with bankers Thursday in Chicago to discuss a potential initial public offering for the coupon website, CNBC’s Kate Kelly reported Thursday evening. Groupon, Kelly said, is serious about an IPO, but the process could take months, possibly into this spring. The offering could be worth $1 billion to $1.5 billion, she said, but the company hasn’t offered any details of the potential size of the deal. Get the full story »

Northwestern grads launch coupon site Bare Deal

A pair of Northwestern University graduates has launched a Chicago-based online deal company that merges snail mail and the Web.

Bare Deal, founded by Justin Shapiro and Glen Andrianov, launched Wednesday in Chicago and the site lists 12 additional cities where the company plans to expand, including Los Angeles and New York.

Chicago is home to tens of Web companies offering local daily deals, including Groupon, the pioneer of the space. Groupon’s co-founder, Andrew Mason, is also a Northwestern alumnus. Shapiro and Andrianov graduated in 2008. Get the full story »

Groupon ads in U.K. banned for being misleading

From AdAge | Chicago-based daily deal site Groupon saw three of its online ads banned in the U.K. after the Advertising Standards Authority, an industry-established group there, claimed they were misleading to consumers.

Groupon, CouponCabin ranked busiest deal sites

What does Chicago have that no other U.S. city has this holiday season? The top two busiest coupon Web sites.

Top ranked was Groupon, the daily deal site, with 10 million unique visitors in November, up 54 percent over the previous month, according to online research firm ComScore Inc. Second was CouponCabin, a coupon-code aggregator, with 8.8 million visitors, a 400 percent increase over October.

Coupon sites, which offer promotional codes and other discounts to consumers, ranked as the top-gaining category of Web sites at the start of the holiday season, ComScore said. A record 44 million Americans visited a coupon site during November, up 40 percent since October. Get the full story »

Google eyes smaller players after Groupon

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. (Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)

Google is in talks with smaller players in the online discount coupon market after Groupon turned down the web giant’s $6 billion buyout offer, the New York Post said, citing a source close to the situation.

Groupon’s smaller rivals LivingSocial and BuyWithMe may now be on Google’s radar after Groupon deal fell through, the Post said.

BuyWithMe interim President David Wolfe, who declined to comment on whether he was speaking to Google, told the Post that he believes Google needs to enter the coupon advertising market. Get the full story »

Groupon teams up with Tribune shopping site

Chicago-based, the fast-growing social networking site that offers its users daily discounts to businesses in their individual markets, has entered into a partnership with Chicago Tribune Media Group’s recently launched e-commerce site.

Groupon to expand Chicago headquarters

From Chicago Real Estate Daily | Chicago-based daily deal company Groupon plans to expand its headquarters at 600 W. Chicago Ave. by about 57,000 square feet.

Sources: Groupon rejects Google’s offer; will stay independent

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason speaks at the company's headquarters on Aug. 31, 2010. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

By Melissa Harris and Wailin Wong

The deal didn’t tip after all.

Chicago-based Groupon Inc. has turned down an acquisition offer from Google Inc. and is staying independent, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said Friday.

The two companies had been engaged in talks, with speculation about the marriage reaching a fever pitch over the last week. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google reportedly had offered between $5 billion and $6 billion for the daily deal start-up. Get the full story »

Amazon invests $175M in LivingSocial

LivingSocial, a deal-of-the-day company that’s seen as one of Groupon’s biggest rivals, said Thursday it has received a $175 million investment from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The Washington, D.C.-based start-up’s latest round of funding also included another $8 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners of Menlo Park, Calif. Lightspeed had previously led a $14 million round of funding for LivingSocial in April. Before that, the daily deal site had conducted two other rounds totaling $30 million.

LivingSocial said it plans to use the money for expansion. The daily deal site is in more than 120 markets, including cities in Europe and Australia, and projects its 2011 revenue at more than $500 million. Get the full story »