A day after Groupon unveiled plans for Groupon Getaways with Expedia, the flash sales site filed a registration statement for a $750 million initial public offering with travel as a key part of its growth strategy.
OK, there will be a lot of teeth-whitening deals, as well.
But, in its registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Groupon notes that it launched Deal Channels for travel, events tickets, and home and garden in select markets in North America in February 2011. The channels aggregate offers found elsewhere on Groupon and enable consumers to follow deal categories of interest.
Groupon says these Deal Channels, which are among the "key elements of our strategy," enable the company "to better target subscribers."
That targetting, of course, comes in handy for Groupon merchants, who can register to have their deals placed in the channels.
Mobile, likewise, is a key component of Groupon's growth strategy.
Groupon notes that it recently launched Groupon NOW, which enables merchants to introduce deals "on demand" and make them available to customers "instantly" on their mobile devices or through the website.
It is easy to see Groupon NOW evolving into a vehicle for travel suppliers looking to offer last-minute deals. And, with Groupon's growing global footprint, the channel may be attractive for some suppliers, although margins may be relatively small.
"As our local e-commerce marketplace grows, we believe consumers will use Groupon not only as a discovery tool for local merchants, but also an an ongoing connection point to their favorite merchants," Groupon says.
Groupon doesn't mention new-best friend Expedia in the registration statement, but partnering with a powerhouse in global online travel can't hurt Groupon's travel ambitions.
Groupon intends to use the net proceeds from an IPO, assuming Groupon eventually goes ahead with it, for general corporate purposes, acquisitions and technology development.