imho anyone still inclined to consider investing in Groupon should first read A Short History of Financial Euphoria
Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder and chairman of Groupon, which filed last week for an IPO valuing the company at $30 billion, as well as its largest shareholder, with a pre-IPO 22% stake in the company. The other co-founders include Andrew Mason (8% stake), the cherubic public face of Groupon; and Bradley Keywell (7% stake), who also co-founded Starbelly with Lefkofsky. Before Starbelly, Keywell and Lefkofsky founded a sportswear company called Brandon Apparel.
But Groupon's IPO has brought an uncomfortable spotlight onto Lefkofsky. While some attention focuses on his ambitions as an investor in tech startups, others see a "spotty history" and draw parallels between the past and the present. Lefkofsky's track record, reflecting failures and successes, bears certain hallmarks: rapid revenue growth accompanied by big losses, a penchant to sell stock early on, and lawsuits filed by investors, lenders or customers who feel they have been wronged.