Groupon, the early pioneer in local deals that was once valued at as much as $16 billion, is on an avid hunt for a buyer, Recode reported this weekend. Executives and banking representatives at Groupon have reportedly been pursuing potential targets.
Though the local icon is at about $2.5 billion now worth a fraction of its IPO-hour valuation, it remains a big player in the space and could see new life as part of a larger public company. Groupon turned a profit in 2017 for the first time in years, and its 2018 Q1 earnings beat expectations.
Reports float Alibaba, which bought a 6% stake in Groupon in 2016, as a likely potential buyer. The outcome of Groupon’s search for a buyer and the aftermath of a potential acquisition would be telling for the future of digital-driven local deals, once the bread and butter of a hyperlocal digital economy that has since seen developments in such areas as AI-backed attribution, voice-driven search, and on-demand delivery.