Most Interesting About Groupon’s New Round? Who’s Not In It

Earlier today, TechCrunch was handed a release that Groupon is publishing widely later today. In it, the group-buying behemoth is announcing that it’s completed a $950 million round from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mail.ru Group, Maverick Capital, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

The megaround is no longer a huge surprise, given that details about it began surfacing last month, right after Groupon’s almost-done-deal with Google wholly unraveled.

What is a surprise is who isn’t mentioned in the release: Accel Partners and New Enterprise Associates, two firms that invested in the company early and may think that Groupon has enjoyed about as much upside as it’s going to see, given its new – stunning — $4.75 billion valuation. (The fact that the financing will be used to fuel Groupon’s global expansion — and going global doesn’t always go as planned for popular U.S.-based Web startups — might have been a concern, too.)

I can’t say for certain that neither Accel nor NEA bellied up to the bar again because they aren’t saying, but certainly, it’s looking that way. A spokeswoman for NEA told me earlier that “neither [NEA partners] Harry Weller nor Peter Barris will be able to comment on either of your questions at this time.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Efrusy, who sits on Groupon’s board on behalf of Accel, declined to confirm or deny that Accel did not participate in the new round when I asked him. He said instead in an email that he couldn’t comment but that both Accel and NEA — which continue to be Groupon’s only institutional board members, despite the bundles of cash that its new investors have just showered up on it — remain “actively involved in partnering with management to build the company.”

Here’s the release:

Groupon Raises, Like, A Billion Dollars

Investment to Continue Rapid Growth of Global Social Commerce Platform

CHICAGO – Today Groupon announced that it has completed a $950
million round of financing. Groupon will use the funds to fuel global
expansion, invest in technology, and provide liquidity for employees and
early investors.

The financing consists of several venture capital firms and late-stage
investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock
Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mail.ru Group, Maverick
Capital, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures. Allen &
Company LLC acted as financial advisor. Previous funding rounds were
led by New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners, and Mail.ru Group
(formerly DST.)

In the last year, Groupon has been called “the fastest growing company
ever” by Forbes Magazine and “America’s best website” by one of
Groupon’s television commercials. In 2010, Groupon:
• Expanded from 1 to 35 countries
• Launched in almost 500 new markets (from 30 markets in 2009)
• Grew subscribers by 2,500% from 2 million to over 50 million
• Saved consumers over $1.5 billion
• Worked with 58,000 local businesses, serving over 100,000 deals
worldwide

“We’re thrilled that Groupon has earned the confidence of some of the
world’s most respected investment firms,” said Andrew Mason, founder
and CEO of Groupon. “With their support, we will continue on our mission
to change the way people shop locally and serve the world’s local
businesses.”