* Schultz's Maveron takes stake
* Groupon to start service in China soon - report
(Adds report on Groupon's plans for China)
NEW YORK Feb 10 Daily deals website Groupon
said on Thursday that Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) Chief Executive
Howard Schultz had joined its board of directors and that his
venture capital firm had taken a stake in the company.
Schultz's firm, Maveron, has previously invested in
retailers such as zulily, which offers daily deals on clothing
geared to mothers and children, and the lucy activewear chain,
which was sold to VF Corp (VFC.N) in 2007.
Groupon, a fast growing members-only site, received a $6
billion takeover bid from Google Inc (GOOG.O) in November,
which it turned down, according to media reports.
The two-year old company recently completed a $950 million
round of financing.
Groupon offers its members discounts of 50 percent to 70
percent on local services, provided that enough members sign up
for any single offer. It takes a commission of 30 percent to 50
percent from the merchants who provide the services.
Separately, Bloomberg News reported that Groupon would
start a service in China "very soon" through a joint venture
with a partner.
Bloomberg reported that Danny Yeung, who heads Groupon's
Hong Kong unit, had said that Groupon had hired about 120
employees in China so far and that the company wants to
"dominate the market in China."
A spokeswoman for Groupon declined to confirm Yeung's
comments, which Bloomberg said he made at a briefing in Hong
Kong on Thursday.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by Andre Grenon and Ted