You guys aren’t going to believe this: We’re hearing that daily deals site Groupon has been aggressively trying to acquire local Q&A site Hipster for a number below $10 million, and that’s before Hipster has even formally launched! A slew of press coverage originating here has turned the site with a funny name into a media darling.
One source is telling us that Hipster has been making the rounds of Silicon Valley VC firms as well as boardrooms and was talking with Google about a possible talent acquisition (who isn’t?) before the talks turned into more of an investment prospect for Google Ventures than an acqui-hiring prospect for the mothership due to Hipster’s desire for a better return.
According to our source, Hipster is currently raising a seed round in the valuation range of $6 – $8 million. The acquisition talks with Groupon have continued as Groupon has a pretty good chance of increasing its $15 billion valuation within the next couple of years after an IPO, presenting itself as a more lucrative deal to the ramen-fed entrepreneurs.
Why the interest in Hipster? Groupon, which has received much success as an ecommerce site, still hasn’t become the go-to local destination for consumers it aims to be. Our source says that the company is considering potential expansion into a Yelp-like recommendation service, which is why the Hipster acquisition might make sense. Hipster, like a Quora + Yelp, allows users to ask, route and answer questions about any location in a city from a small coffee shop to something city-wide.
Groupon has not yet returned our request for comment and Hipster CEO Doug Ludlow gave us this statement,
“All I can say is that the team here at Hipster is busy both building a product that people will love, and putting together an angel round led by top-tier investors. Although it’s true that we’ve been approached about early acquisition by all of the usual suspects, the Hipster team is focused on building a world-class company, and we’re not interested in a quick flip.”
Hipster is creating a real-time, visual public record of the world’s locations. Using their iPhones and Android devices, people share where they are and what they are doing by sending their friends a photographic postcard. The postcards become permanently attached to the locations they were sent from, and are forever accessible to all those who come later. Based in SOMA, San Francisco, and founded in 2010 by Doug Ludlow, Ethan Czahor, and Steffen Hoffman.
Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 565 cities around the world. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere. Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way that offers the consumer an unbeatable deal, and businesses a large number of new customers. To date, it has saved consumers more than $300 million and claims it...