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Heavily Funded Ideeli Sells to Groupon for $43 Million

The once-promising site has been looking for a buyer.

Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Well, Ideeli found its buyer.

Chicago deals company Groupon said on Monday morning that it was buying the heavily funded flash sale site for $43 million. The move gives Groupon a foothold in the world of discount fashion, as well as some technology and fashion-industry experience as it experiments with helping local boutiques offload their excess inventory.

For Ideeli, the outcome is a letdown, considering that the company had raised more than $100 million in venture capital. But it’s not a surprise; I reported a month ago that the company was looking for a buyer.

Ideeli has more than 150 employees, a Groupon spokesman said, but he wouldn’t disclose how many of them would keep their jobs post-acquisition. It lost $30 million on $115 million in gross revenue in the 12 months ending February 2, 2013, according to the regulatory filing announcing the deal.

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