WhaleShark Media Hires CFO With Public Company Experience

WhaleShark Media, the profitable coupon company that generated more than $140 million in revenue last year, has hired Douglas Jeffries as its new chief financial officer.

WhaleShark CFO Doug JeffriesThe Austin, Texas-based company said Jeffries will manage WhaleShark’s global finance, legal, facilities and human resource teams — and at this rate, he’s presumably being brought on board to expand the company’s management team ahead of a potential IPO.

In late 2011, the company raised a massive $150 million round to continue buying up coupon sites around the world. Some of its brands include RetailMeNot and Deals2Buy in the U.S., VoucherCodes in the U.K., Bons-de-Reduction in France and Deals.com in Germany.

The company is conducting a classic rollup, in which it achieves scale through acquisition. In total, it has raised $300 million in capital from major investors such as J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Institutional Venture Partners, as well as others, including Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners and Google Ventures.

It’s logical to have a proper money manager to keep track of the burgeoning business, but a WhaleShark spokesman declined to say if a public offering was in the making, adding, “Right now, we’re focused on growing our business.”

Most recently, Jeffries was EVP and CFO at Taleo, a software company purchased by Oracle for $1.9 billion last year. Prior to that, Jeffries played top financial roles at Palm, where he was CFO, and eBay, where he was VP of finance and chief accounting officer.

In the release announcing the new executive appointment, WhaleShark confirmed that it was “highly” profitable last year, and that it clocked more than 450 million visits to its websites.

WhaleShark’s business plays nicely with the deals craze. While the practice of coupon-clipping is ancient, investors have embraced tech startups in the space, as consumers start looking for deals online rather than in the Sunday newspaper.

Competition includes CouponCabin.comCoupons.comCouponTrade.com and many others.

Here’s the TV commercial WhaleShark rolled out for the holidays; it ran across several TV networks, including HGTV, E!, TLC and Bravo:

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

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