Comcast Affiliate Invests in Groupon as Both Companies Attempt Reinvention



Groupon’s reinvention as a broader online marketplace will get a little easier after receiving a $250 million investment from a new venture firm backed by cable giant Comcast.

The investment is by Atairos, an independent investment fund run by former Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis. But he’s clearly acting as an agent for Comcast, looking into the idea of partnerships with Groupon, the Chicago-based startup that is attempting to redefine itself after its original business model based on deep online discounts at local businesses ran into competition and other obstacles.

As part of the relationship, Comcast will work with Groupon to identify and implement potential strategic partnership opportunities, according to a press release.

“Groupon is an established leader in connecting customers with local businesses,” said Neil Smit, Comcast CEO, in the press release. “The potential in combining Groupon’s local expertise with Comcast’s vast subscriber and advertisers network is something we look forward to exploring together.”

Comcast is looking for new sources of digital growth as the pay-TV industry undergoes massive change driven by more video programing being offered through online services such as Netflix. Groupon, meanwhile, is undergoing an attempted reinvention by CEO Rich Williams, who replaced founder Eric Lefkofsky late last year.