Online coupon company WhaleShark raises $150 million

Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:21am EST

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(Reuters) - Online coupon company WhaleShark Media has raised $150 million in financing from JP Morgan and Institutional Venture Partners.

The new shot of cash brings the company's total funding to almost $300 million and values it at roughly $750 million, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The Austin-based company also announced on Thursday that IVP Partner Jules Maltz is joining its board of directors.

WhaleShark caters to people looking for bargains. People can go to its site RetailMeNot.com, for example, choose a coupon and then shop online for the item by typing in a promotional code to trigger the deal.

Unlike daily deal sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, WhaleShark does not require users to register nor does it push deals to subscribers via email or mobile alerts.

Its model replicates that of newspaper circulars, organizing coupons online from 130,000 merchants, and it competes with companies like Coupon Mountain and Savings.com. About half of its coupons comes from users who can post deals to the site.

"We're going to stick with coupons," WhaleShark CEO Cotter Cunningham said about the business, adding it plans to use the funding to go shopping.

"Our target is to buy a handful of additional properties over the next 12 months."

RetailMeNot was one if its recent purchases, as was Voucher Codes, an online coupon company in the United Kingdom.

WhaleShark makes money by taking a small commission from people who use a coupon as well as through advertising. It has revenue of more than $70 million and is profitable, said Cunningham.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Richard Chang)

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