Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Worried About IPO Filing Backlash, Groupon Surveys Consumer and Merchant Reaction

Groupon’s S-1 filing for an IPO last month certainly got a lot of ink.

Unfortunately, much of it was negative, focused on several controversial parts of the document. Most scrutinized were large slugs of money taken out of the social buying site by its founders, as well as aggressive accounting terminology to make large losses look less, well, large.

Rattled by the intense media and analyst reaction to the filing, sources said the Chicago-based company commissioned a poll of its consumers and merchants to gauge the impact.

One source familiar with the survey said that top execs and its board wanted concrete reaction from key constituencies, instead of relying on “noise from the echo chamber” of Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

And, said several people who had seen the poll, it should probably come as no surprise that the impact of the drumbeat of Groupon-is-doomed news on merchants and consumers was low, with only one percent saying that they had formed a negative opinion of the company from the filing.

That, of course, does not mean that those important groups for Groupon aren’t disgruntled about a whole laundry list of other issues.

But — for now, at least — an S-1 with some warts isn’t one of them.

Whatever the case, Groupon will continue to face scrutiny as it moves to amend the filing after comments from government regulators, and also when it reports its latest financial results soon for the three months ended June 30, 2011.

And those are numbers that everyone will surely be paying attention to.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik