) co-founders Erik Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell sat down for a
public chat at the gabfest they've started, Chicago Ideas Week.
Speaking at the city's contemporary art museum, Lefkofsky said
it's a mistake to lump Groupon in with social media stocks like
), Zynga (
) and LinkedIn (
"Facebook and Twitter are social by orientation. Zynga is a
gaming company that happens to do a lot of business on that
platform. Groupon really isn't," he said, according to
Crain's Chicago Business
Even though he
doesn't check stock prices more than once a
, he probably doesn't like this chart.
So ok, if not as a social media stock, how should we
categorize Groupon? Now that it and eBay (
) are moving into each other's territories, we could try
comparing those. Both will offer daily deals. Both aspire to be
crucial to local commerce. Both have point-of-sale payment
systems, eBay's being the far larger PayPal.
It can be hard to compare these two. EBay dwarfs Groupon by
GRPN Market Cap
And looking at revenues is difficult because eBay is a more
mature company, both financially and culturally -- unless eBay
chief John Donahue has been chugging beer at company meetings
like Groupon's Andrew Mason did.
GRPN Revenue Quarterly
But it's interesting to compare to their expenses.
Groupon's revenue growth is higher but falling
GRPN Revenue Quarterly YoY Growth
And there's a clear difference in their profit margins.
GRPN Profit Margin
The fact is that while people aren't posting status updates or
playing team games on Groupon, it makes sense to compare it to
other companies that launched around the same time. Investors can
differentiate between IPOs, as they've done with LinkedIn.
Groupon, concerned, is hiring an ad agency to polish its
image. But while branding is important, proving your business
model is, too.
From the editors of YCharts.
YCharts Pro Investor Service