Russia’s leading Internet investment holding, Digital Sky Technologies (DST) leads $135 million fourth round of funding in Groupon, a deal-of-the-day website localized in 54 cities in the U.S., according to AllThingsDigital. DST contributed a majority of $135 million investment, the remainder is invested by Battery Ventures. The investment includes both new equity capital and buying out shares from early investors and employees.
Launched in November 2007 as The Point, the company re-launched with new name Groupon in November 2008. Founded by CEO Andrew Mason, Groupon is reportedly profitable. The company has sold more than 4 million “groupons” and saved $150 million to its users. It aims to reach 100 cities in the U.S. and elsewhere by the year-end.
Groupon raised $30 million from Accel Partners and New Enterprise Associates at $250 million valuation last December. In addition, Groupon previoulsy raised $5.8 million from New Enterprise Assosiates and angel investor. DST invested in Facebook and Zynga last year.
Groupon’s business model is popular. In Germany, there are Mangrove Capital-backed Daily Deal and Samwer brothers, Holtzbrink and eVenture Capital-backed City Deal. In Russia, Groupon is copied by Biglion (Биглион), Darberry (ДарБери) and KupiKupon (КупиКупон).