Inside these posts: Group coupons

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YouSwoop expands to North Shore

Chicago-based daily deals provider YouSwoop will be launching in the North Shore as early as Tuesday, marking the company’s first expansion outside of the city. Get the full story »

Groupon gets into real estate with Dream Town

On Friday, Chicago real estate brokerage Dream Town Realty launched a week-long deal on Groupon, hoping to tap the popular social buying model to attract clients. Get the full story »

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 »

Groupon exploring mobile coupons

From BusinessWeek | Chicago-based daily deal site Groupon Inc. is preparing to make its deal-of-the-day business even more local, launching a mobile product that will allow it to offer discounts to subscribers based on their location. The new program it is planning, Groupon Now, consists of two buttons for consumers to pick from: “I’m Hungry” and “I’m Bored.” When users click on one of the buttons, Groupon Now offers up a host of discounted options near the user’s location. Get the full story>>

IPO could value Groupon at up to $25 billion

Daily deals website Groupon could be valued at as much as $25 billion in an initial public offering, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing two people with knowledge of the company’s discussions with banks.

Groupon to start offering movie tickets

A promotional still for "The Lincoln Lawyer," starring Matthew McConaughey, right. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Groupon launched a two-day national deal Wednesday offering discounted tickets for the upcoming movie “The Lincoln Lawyer,” partnering with Lionsgate in what the studio said was a first for the feature film industry.

“The Lincoln Lawyer,” starring Matthew McConaughey in the lead role, opens nationwide on Friday. Groupon is selling $6 tickets to the film. Subscribers who purchase the deal will get a special code to redeem their tickets on Fandango at any time during the movie’s theatrical run.

Lionsgate said it is the first Hollywood studio to promote a major feature film through Groupon. Movie tickets have been featured on daily deal sites in the past; earlier this month, Groupon rival LivingSocial offered a national deal where consumers could purchase two tickets on Fandango for $9. Get the full story »

Microsoft adds do-not-track tool to Explorer

Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer for Microsoft, shows IE9 last month in in San Francisco. (Reuters)

A new version of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer to be released Tuesday will be the first major Web browser to include a do-not-track tool that helps people keep their online habits from being monitored. Get the full story »

Groupon partnering with Tencent in China

U.S. deals Web site Groupon Inc. said Monday it is teaming up with Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. to launch a group-buying services Web site in China, placing it ahead of other major U.S. social Internet companies in building a China presence.

For Chicago-based Groupon, the deal represents an ambitious attempt to expand overseas while for Shenzhen-based Tencent, it is an attempt to tap further into growth beyond the company’s core business areas of online gaming and messaging. Get the full story »

Groupon prepares to go into China

Deals Web site Groupon Inc. appears to be making preparations to start operations in China, a move that could shake up the market for group buying, even though challenges lie ahead for the young U.S. company.

Chicago-based Groupon, which opened in 2008 selling discounted products and services from local merchants such as restaurants and nail salons, faces a huge Internet market that has confounded some of the world’s biggest players. Get the full story »

LivingSocial expands in northern suburbs

Daily deal provider LivingSocial said Thursday it has expanded into Chicago’s north suburbs, adding to its roster of more specialized offers for the area.

LivingSocial already offers deals for Chicago, the western suburbs and the northwest suburbs. The Washington, D.C.-based startup also has a “family edition” for Chicago that provides discounts on activities and services for parents and children. Get the full story »

Groupon pulls controversial Tibet ad

Groupon Inc. Chief Executive Andrew Mason said the Chicago-based daily deals provider is pulling all of the Super Bowl ads that had provoked a negative reaction online earlier this week.

“We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did – it’s the last thing we wanted,” Mason wrote in a blog post on Thursday, adding: “We will run something less polarizing instead. We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn’t come through. I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads.” Get the full story »

Starbucks CEO invests in Groupon, gets board seat

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Chicago-based daily deal site Groupon said on Thursday Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz has joined its board of directors and that his venture capital firm has taken a stake in the daily deals website.

Schultz’ firm, Maveron, previously invested in retailers such as zulily, which offers daily deals on clothing geared to mothers and their children, and the lucy activewear chain, which was sold to VF Corp in 2007.

Groupon reportedly got a $6 billion takeover bid from Google in November, which it turned down. Two-year-old Groupon recently completed a $950 million round of financing. Get the full story »

Groupon investor bets on another Chicago firm

A venture-capital investor in Chicago-based Groupon is placing a bet on another local company.

Chicago-based Abe’s Market , an online marketplace for a wide range of natural products, has closed a $3.4 million round of financing led by Accel Partners, which in late 2009 invested in Groupon. Accel, which has more than $6 billion under management, is joined by existing investor Index Ventures as well as other angel investors.

Abe’s Market works with almost 300 vendors and said it has seen its orders grow by 900 percent over the past six months. Get the full story »

Groupon gets Super Bowl ad spot

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Groupon has secured a spot during the Super Bowl to air a commercial being created by Christopher Guest. Earlier, the company thought it would only have access to pre-game and post-game commercials. Get the full story>>

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.