2012 has brought the tech community a lot of surprises and news. There have been quite a few companies that have gone public in recent history, including Pandora, LinkedIn, Zynga, Facebook, and even Groupon. In Groupon’s case, the stock seemed to start off decently well, but has shockingly sputtered out of control and is now 75% down year-to-date. For the once-proud leader of the daily deals, this has been one bad case after another. With the current Groupon stock price (at the time of this writing) hovering slightly over $4.50 a share, is there any way to save the company? And since the IPO essentially failed, what does this mean to company morale and investor relations? Well with the latter, many of the early investors (pre-IPO) seemed to have already jumped ship and cut their losses. In addition to this, news broke yesterday that one of the company’s best salespeople, Jayna Cooke, just left the company to seek out a new adventure. She had been with the company since its early days in 2008 and had a tremendous impact on helping get the company to where it is today as their top producer and senior sales leader.
So what’s next in store for Ms. Cooke? Well it’s quite simple…announcing today, she’s going to be joining the team at Los Angeles-based startup, Eventup, where she’s going to be a big part of the early stage startup helping to set revenue, sales, and business development opportunities. Certainly her skills at Groupon will serve her and the team at Eventup quite well. This year alone, Eventup has made some great attempts at branching out their business nationally. The “Airbnb of event space” startup has set up their service in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Miami–most undoubtedly they’re going to be branching out a bit further over the next few months and they need a steady hand at the helm to really get their business plan into motion. Ms. Cooke looks to be the one that they’re going with to help lead that charge. This is the first big acquisition by Eventup since they raised $1.8 million in seed funding from a group of investors, which, ironically, included the founders of Groupon.
During her time at Groupon, Ms. Cooke was responsible for helping the company launch various national and local sales strategies, growth and market planning alongside helping to drive incremental revenue–something that Eventup will definitely reap the rewards from. It’s that type of gumption and experience that Eventup needs to help them justify their decision to target the $263 billion corporate events market. Ms. Cooke is going to be joining Eventup and based in their Chicago office. Her team of five salespeople will be working to help corporations of all sizes find the right event space for their conference or event and generate more awareness within the industry. This will really be a big boon for Eventup…it will be exciting to see how the company blows up as a result of the hiring of this top-notch sales executive.
Congratulations Ms. Cooke!