The Groupon IPO roadshow

The investor presentation (both slides and video) of the upcoming Groupon IPO are online (link). Robin Wouters of TechCrunch has made a few screen shots of some of the slides. Usually these presentations are held in private meetings with potential investors, and I think it is great that they are now available for everyone to see.

Overall this is not a bad presentation, the presenters rehearsed, the slides are organized. There is still room for improvement though.

Slide design. The slides look like a beautification of a standard business presentation. The beautification is done professionally: sophisticated graphics and custom-made illustrations. Some of them look great (I love the slide with all the competitor logos). Still, Groupon could have gone further by designing the slides from scratch, making them simpler. For example, the slide right after the competitors on Wouter's page is not clear. Also, the template could have done without all the trackers that are repeated on every page page.

Examples. Groupon is a business that happens all the way down in the street, at a small merchant. Like retailing, detail is what matters. The case examples could have been featured more prominently. Bigger images of the restaurant, more specifics of the deal. When the VP Product goes through a long list of the detailed information that Groupon has available, it sounds abstract. Why not take one very specific example and show how shoppers for flowers have different habits in 2 streets of San Francisco. The specifics of the detail make the big point.

Elephants in the room. There has been lot of cynical press around the Groupon IPO. Questions about declining growth rates: there was the chart that should make every Groupon investor scared.  Questions about margins. Questions about customer loyalty. These are the big issues of the company, and somehow the company should have made more effort to counter them. It is actually towards the end of the presentation by the VP Product, when he starts getting into all the new technologies Groupon has in the pipeline that could have really addressed this question. (The explanation of the technologies was a bit hard to follow though and needed more slide transitions.

Delivery. This was a staged presentation and although delivered well, you could still see that it sometimes was somewhat unnatural, especially when the CFO started to run through a large number of financial figures that were not presented on slides. It is passion though that is so important to get across, you could see the difference when the CEO talked about Groupon being the first company that has the scale to make local commerce a reality.

What do you think?