Kira Wampler

Tech Moves: Ex-Amazon vet Holden lands at Bezos-backed Uber; Trulia hires CMO for ad war with Zillow; and more

—Uber is zooming ahead with a new chief product, one who helped drive’s growth in the early days. Jeff Holden, who earlier this week announced his intentions to leave Groupon, has landed at the fast-growing transportation company which also happens to be backed by Jeff Bezos. “He will be a strong strategic thought partner… Read More

Jeff Holden

Groupon product chief Jeff Holden to depart next month

Groupon product chief Jeffrey Holden is leaving the daily deals site effective March 18, according to a SEC filing posted today. No reasons were given on why the former Amazon exec is stepping down from the role, though we’ve reached out to Groupon for more details. Crain’s reports that Holden is leaving for an undisclosed… Read More

Photo via Kevin Lisota

Commentary: An MBA’s take on Seattle’s tech scene

Even before coming to Seattle for the first time on MIT Sloan’s Tech Trek, I had a feeling that I’d like this place. I’d heard how it’s laid back and outdoorsy. Yeah, rainy weather, but I’d also heard how friendly everyone is. Having just returned from our visit, I can say that the city lived… Read More


Startup Spotlight: Forks offers instant ways to save money on food in a crowded coupon space

Juggernauts like Groupon and Living Social certainly have a strong presence in the digital coupon space. But one Seattle-based company has carved its own niche with a location-based app that offers instant redeemable coupons at quick service and sit-down restaurants. Founded in 2010, Seattle-based Forks launched its app earlier this year and already features 18,000… Read More


Groupon hires Amazon Prime VP, continues Seattle expansion

Groupon continues to mine for talent, and today the daily deal company picked up a big name from its rival. Groupon, whose stock has risen 150 percent in the past year, announced that it has hired Robbie Schwietzer as vice president of operations. He comes to Groupon after a decade at Amazon, most recently as… Read More


LivingSocial closes Seattle office; employees told to work remotely LivingSocial, the Washington D.C.-based daily deals site, has shut down its Seattle office. The news was first reported by Forbes and we’ve reached out to the company for confirmation. Less than 40 employees who worked at the office were not let go, but rather told to work from home, Forbes reported. The company is still hiring for three… Read More

Andrew Mason, former Groupon CEO.

Groupon CEO’s funny farewell is a model of candor

Say what you will about Andrew Mason’s reign as CEO of Groupon, he sure knows how to say goodbye. Mason was let go as the top executive of the daily deals company today, and he made his farewell memo public. In a world where many top executives obfuscate their departures with all manner of B.S., it’s… Read More

Spencer Rascoff opens trading on the Nasdaq in July

Dear Alley Insider: What’s Zillow, chopped liver?

I’m a big fan of Alley Insider’s Chart of the Day service in which the online news publication puts relevant news in chart form. But their latest effort left me scratching my head. What grabbed my attention was the title of the post: “LinkedIn Is The Only Consumer Tech IPO That’s Doing Well.” Really? I am… Read More


Groupon pays $8.5M in settlement over voucher expirations at Nordstrom, other retailers

Groupon has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that expiration dates and other restrictions on the company’s vouchers violated federal and state law, and unfairly prevented consumers from receiving products and services purchased through the daily deals service. Notifications of the settlement were emailed to affected Groupon customers this week…. Read More


Groupon hires ex-Amazon GM to lead Seattle office

Groupon is the latest tech giant to plant a flag in Seattle, opening an office in Seattle’s International District with room for 20 to 30 employees. The arrival of Groupon follows engineering offices from companies such as Hulu, Splunk, eBay, Facebook, Zynga and others, a trend we’ve talked about in great detail over the past… Read More

Howard Schultz (Richard Eriksson photo)

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz departs Groupon’s board

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has stepped down from the board of Groupon just 16 months after joining forces with the fast-growing Chicago-based daily deal site. According to a SEC filing today, Schultz resigned from the board effective April 24th. Kara Swisher of All Things D first reported the news, also noting that Accel Partners’ Kevin Efrusy… Read More

Kal Raman

Tech Moves: CEO Kal Raman hired at Groupon

Kal Raman, the former and executive who stepped down as CEO of Bellevue-based GlobalScholar last September, has been named senior vice president of Groupon overseeing operations in ten countries in North and South America. “Kal brings e-commerce and operational experience to Groupon which will benefit our customers and our merchants as we set out to… Read More


Amazon boosts AmazonLocal with $10 gift card for $5

Many companies are still trying to make it in the market for daily deals, competing with giant Groupon and a host of smaller rivals. But is in a unique position with its AmazonLocal deals site thanks to the fact that it’s, well, Case in point: Today’s nationwide AmazonLocal deal offering a $10 Amazon… Read More


Amazon filing shows $558M loss for LivingSocial in 2011

How much does it cost to bulk up and compete with the likes of Groupon in the daily deals market?’s annual Form 10-K filing, made public this morning, reveals detailed financial information about LivingSocial, the privately-held Washington, D.C.-based company in which Amazon is an investor. A footnote in Amazon’s filing gives this condensed statement of… Read More


Kindle Fire will outsell iPad, Windows Phone will rebound, and six other tech predictions

Facebook will go public in 2012. Apple will lose some of its innovative edge without Steve Jobs. And the majority of Americans will be driving electric vehicles by the year 2022. Those were some of the predictions last night as the Washington Technology Industry Association hosted their annual Predictions Dinner. I had the distinct honor, once… Read More


Groupon IPO: Is this the next or

Group discount buying service Groupon, the granddaddy of the daily deals startups, debuted on the stock market this morning with its highly anticipated IPO, trading on the Nasdaq exchange as GRPN. This will be a fascinating one to watch as a litmus test for other startups and a gauge of the tech economy. It’s hard… Read More


Wishpot jumps into the very crowded arena of travel deals

Wishpot faces no shortage of competition with its new daily deal service for travel. After all, in the past few months Groupon and Expedia have launched a new daily deal offering, and upstarts like Seattle-based Off & Away have expanded into deals for hotel rooms. Nonetheless, Wishpot — led by CEO Max Ciccotosto — is looking… Read More