Groupon Aims to Raise $950 Million at $4.75 Billion Valuation

After snubbing a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, Groupon is raising more money.

Of course. But has it raised nearly $1 billion?

That’s the number being thrown around today by VCExperts, which claims to have seen documents filed by Groupon with the Secretary of State’s office.

And our sources say that’s the right number, with the company’s valuation placed at $4.75 billion, but that the deal hasn’t firmed up yet, and it doesn’t involve any one major new investor. A Groupon representative declined to comment on the report.

In the meantime, Groupon has the gigantic round it raised eight months ago to lean on. BoomTown’s Kara Swisher reported in April that Groupon raised $135 million at a $1 billion valuation.

The big thing that’s likely changed since then is the company’s run-rate, now at $2 billion annually (up from the previously reported $500 million).

The group-buying site, which offers consumers discounts of 50 to 70 percent on things like trips to spas and restaurants, already has a plethora of investors.

It has raised money from the same Russian investors that backed social networking powerhouse Facebook and game phenom Zynga, as well as from Digital Sky Technologies and Battery Ventures. In December, Groupon nabbed $30 million in its second round of funding, led by Accel Partners.

The money in April was being set aside for growing the business and getting ahead of its numerous rivals.

One investment source that has since dried up is Amazon, which decided to back Groupon’s nearest rival, LivingSocial, with $175 million. Kleiner Perkins has been named as a potential candidate, but it would also be nice to see a deep-pocket media company step in.

Newspapers, specifically, have been hard hit by a shift in local advertising and classifieds. A Groupon partnership could make it less appalling that they’ve missed yet another trend.

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