Groupon is now valued at more than one billion dollars. It joins social networks Facebook and Twitter and online gaming company Zynga in a very small club of web 2.0 startups. Groupon, the social buying site that has become one of the hotter start-ups of late, has gotten a giant round of funding from the same Russian investors who backed social networking powerhouse Facebook and game phenom Zynga.
Digital Sky Technologies is the main funder of the round, but Battery Ventures is also participating.
The money, the company said would be used to grow the business–and to speed far ahead of numerous rivals–as well as cash out employees and early investors. Groupon is profitable and has about 270 employees.
In December, Groupon nabbed $30 million in its second round of funding, led by Accel Partners.
The innovative Chicago-based service, which launched only a year ago, had previously received $4.8 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates, as well as $1 million from an angel investor.
Groupon features a daily deal with a huge discount on a wide range of things–from spas to skydiving–in 26 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Boston, New York and San Francisco, for large groups of potential buyers on the Web, through email or via social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
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