Daily deals site Groupon have finally gone public after their on again / off again plans to list, and a first day surge in their share price will no doubt be used as a counter to one analyst who previously said that only a "fool" would invest in the group buying e-commerce site.
Their New York IPO raised USD$700m and valued the company overall at USD$12.65bn, well ahead of their USD$10bn-11bn range - and shares advanced 31% on their Thursday trading debut price on the first day.
Groupon's listing is the biggest in the tech industry since Google went to market in 2004 and also the second biggest in tech history:Well, the second biggest until Facebook goes public anyway - with their late 2012 listing expected to break all records.
Groupon will see the valuation as vindication for their decision to reject a USD$6bn advance from Google last year, but they are also first movers in a market with very low barriers to entry despite them having "competitive moats" according to chief executive Andrew Mason.
Along with two other co-founders Mason owns more than a third of Groupon stock so is naturally happy at the IPO pricing, but the long term viability of the business amidst competition from all comers is less certain.
Ahead of their listing Groupon cut their losses by slashing their marketing spend.