US flash sale giant Groupon has confirmed plans to roll out a tie-up with Expedia to the UK as it seeks a $750 million IPO.
Reuters reported that the firm could raise as much as $1 billion in the IPO that would value it at between $15 and $20 billion despite its $540 million losses since 2008.
Observers in the US said potential investors may balk at a firm whose marketing costs are rising faster than sales and is in a market with low barriers to entry.
Bloomberg reported that since Groupon’s launch no fewer than 482 imitators have entered the market, however, Groupon is the fastest growing firm in US corporate history.
The US filing for the IPO confirmed plans to extend Groupon Getaways, the partnership with Expedia announced in the US this week, to the UK at a date still to be announced.
It will offer a combined 50 million subscribers the chance to buy travel vouchers offering as much as 50% off on flights, packages, car hire, cruise and 135,000 hotels worldwide. Vouchers can be redeemed at a later date, usually within a year and flexible dates of travel are available.
Currently in the UK Groupon is little used by travel firms although some have reported it has been highly successful selling late deals for short-haul beach holidays.
Groupon said: “Groupon Getaways with Expedia represents a new and powerful marketing channel for hotels to reach more than 50 million combined Groupon and Expedia members in the US and Canada, many of whom are highly engaged in social media and often share great Groupon deals with their networks”.
Scott Durchslag, president of Expedia Worldwide, said: “Everybody wins with our new partnership with Groupon: Travellers get amazing deals for spontaneous travel to dream destinations; travel suppliers get the ability to reach an enormous audience at no upfront cost to participate; Groupon gets to extend its business into new markets; and we advance our new ‘Expedia Everywhere’ strategy with a powerful new high growth channel to deliver daily deals.”
Andrew Mason, chief executive officer, Groupon, added: “Groupon Getaways with Expedia is a fitting complement to our local deals, helping people get out of the house and explore the world.
“We’re excited to tap into Expedia’s vast network of world-class travel providers, delivering unmatched exposure to them while offering a wonderful service to millions of our subscribers.”