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The Groupon Frodo Memo

Published on February 25, 2011
by Michael Hickins

Online coupon company Groupon is looking for massive growth while laying the groundwork for an IPO later this year, according to a leaked memo reported by the WSJ.

The memo, sent by Groupon CEO Andrew Mason to staff in early January, also reveals financial results for last year and grand ambitions for 2011, when Mr. Mason hopes to achieve “billions in revenue.”

In the memo, Mason tells staff that Groupon is facing so much competition that he wouldn’t blame them for feeling “a little like Frodo climbing Mount Doom.”

According to the memo, Groupon had $760 million in revenues in 2010 ($475 million in U.S.), 51 million subscribers, and expanded to 35 countries and 4,150 employees. It’s also worth noting that overseas revenues were 12 percent of the total in the fourth quarter.

The memo also provides a glimpse of Mason’s colorful leadership style.

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