Groupon has added $135 million to its war chest, and now has raised a total of $165 million to fend off competitors in the deal-a-day space it has pioneered. The investment gives Groupon a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
The company, which makes its revenue by keeping 35 percent to 50 percent of the face value of its “Groupon” coupons, was founded in November 2008. It is currently in 50 North American cities and plans to be in 100 cities by the end of 2010. It is said to have earned in excess of $350 million last year.
The investment comes from DST, a Russian company that recently committed to investing up to $180 million in Yelp, and from Battery Ventures. A press release says that a portion of the investment will be used to fuel Groupon’s global investment. The rest will “facilitate liquidity for employees and early investors.”
“This investment underscores our view that social networking and community based activity will drive, shape and define the Web’s evolution in the years ahead,” said DST CEO Yuri Milner.