Unlike the heads of many start-ups in Silicon Valley in San Francisco, Andrew Mason, the founder and chief executive of Groupon, did not graduate in software engineering or business but completed a degree in music in 2003.
Mr Mason also made headlines this year when he pulled a Groupon Super Bowl advertisement because it was criticised for trivialising the Tibetan people's political struggle.
The ad had a voice-over that said: "The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture is in jeopardy, but they still whip up an amazing fish curry."
The ad went on to say that 200 people had signed up for a special Himalayan meal for half price at a Chicago restaurant.
Mr Mason stopped running the ad and said in an apology: "To those who were offended, I feel terrible that we made you feel bad.
"While we've always been a little quirky, we certainly aren't trying to be the kind of company that builds its brand on creating controversy - we think the quality of our product is a much stronger message."
Biggest group buying deal in history
In January, LivingSocial.com offered US$20 (Dh73) Amazon gift cards at $10 to US customers. The website ended up selling 1,378,938 cards. The deal made news headlines as the biggest LivingSocial and group buying sale to date, and put the company on the map as a serious online coupon player.
Google gets in on the act
The search giant has entered the group buying space with the soft launch of Google Offers after news surfaced late last year it had unsuccessfully tried to buy out Groupon for $2.5 billion.
Google Offers is currently available only in Beta mode exclusively in Portland, Oregon, in the US.
* Michael Robinson