Groupon, based in Chicago, United States, posted a loss of US$81.1 million for the last quarter of 2012, compared to its US$65.4 million in 2011. Shares dropped 25 per cent during after-hours trading on the Wall Street stock exchange last night.
Green founded similar group buying site ubuntudeal.co.za in South Africa in October 2010, but sold it to Bid or Buy six months later.
Speaking to HumanIPO about the state of the group buying market, he said: “In South Africa what we have seen is the same as in the rest of the world. The actual value to the clients seemed higher in the beginning as to what is actually was.
“Groupon always wanted to say they were the fastest growing company in the world, but I didn’t see that as a good thing.
“The Groupon buying, I don’t want to call it a fad, but it was not going to be a long term thing. You only bring people in once.”
Green said Groupon South Africa, which was bought by Groupon in May 2010, has done “amazing things for e-commerce” in the country, but explained why he decided to get out of the industry.
He said: “I particularly wanted to get out because the market had become so turbulent in South Africa and Groupon had just come into the country.
“It just became far too risky for me to carry it on by myself, but Bid or Buy could easily get more out of it than I could. They could do so many things better than I was doing.”