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By
Reuters
Published
Feb 11, 2011
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Starbucks CEO invests in Groupon, gets board seat

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 11, 2011

Feb 10 - Daily deals website Groupon said on Thursday that Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz had joined its board of directors and that his venture capital firm had taken a stake in the company.

Groupon

Schultz's firm, Maveron, has previously invested in retailers such as zulily, which offers daily deals on clothing geared to mothers and children, and the lucy activewear chain, which was sold to VF Corp in 2007.

Groupon, a fast growing members-only site, received a $6 billion takeover bid from Google Inc in November, which it turned down, according to media reports.

The two-year old company recently completed a $950 million round of financing.

Groupon offers its members discounts of 50 percent to 70 percent on local services, provided that enough members sign up for any single offer. It takes a commission of 30 percent to 50 percent from the merchants who provide the services.

Separately, Bloomberg News reported that Groupon would start a service in China "very soon" through a joint venture with a partner.

Bloomberg reported that Danny Yeung, who heads Groupon's Hong Kong unit, had said that Groupon had hired about 120 employees in China so far and that the company wants to "dominate the market in China."

A spokeswoman for Groupon declined to confirm Yeung's comments, which Bloomberg said he made at a briefing in Hong Kong on Thursday.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by Andre Grenon and Ted Kerr)

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