I'd like to get the information for Groupon or another web 2.0 company to see their revenue, subscriber, traffic, etc. curves for our business plan financial projections. They are a close model to our company.
Is there information for a Yelp or another web 2.0 company that may be similar? Where do I find this information? Where do I begin this search? If a company has gone public, is this information available? if so, I can look into companies that have gone public.. Where would I find that information?
As mentioned in this article Groupon has filed for an IPO and in its paperwork has disclosed some revenue figures. Their estimated revenue for 2010 is ~$870 million, but on that they made a loss of $413 million. In this article they talk a bit more about subscriber numbers etc.
If you want some light bed-time reading, then dive into Groupon's actual SEC filing here .
Edit: Wow - Groupon have made another SEC filing which provides more up-to-date data. The stats I find most incredible are:
This kind of growth is incredible and IMO full of risk. To add that many employees that quickly they'd have to have an incredible management team to ensure that all the cogs were turning properly. Sorry I'm going off topic...
Back to where to get market research from: Compete.com and Alexa type stats are hopelessly inaccurate by several orders of magnitude, so take those numbers with a big pinch of salt.
I don't know of any Groupon-type companies that are already public - but if there were some, you would head straight to their annual report and/or quarterly earnings calls. If you do find a public company that you are interested in, look for their investor relations website or simply go to www.google.com/finance and start from there.
While investigating the competition and the market is an essential part of setting up your business, look especially hard at the assumptions behind your numbers. For example, if you see company X get 100,000 visits per month in its first 6 months don't assume you can do the same - rather, make sure that you have a clear idea as to how you will achieve that number with your website, with your resource and know-how.
Remember this space is now very crowded - but it sounds like you are doing your research before you pile in so good luck.
In my experience, there is no one source to go to for this information. Because it is a private company, you have to do some detective work and find and piece together the facts - and even then you will probably need to make educated guesses.
For instance, you might use compete.com or alexa.com to get an idea of how many visitors they get to their site (and estimate subscriber numbers from there), you might search newspaper articles for information on revenue and their business model, you might have to estimate their costs and then make a best guess. Unless you have an inside contact who is prepared to leak information (unlikely and unethical) then it really is about piecing together all the bits of information you can find. Online databases (such as those libraries subscribe to) can be helpful as well as Google.
For a company like Groupon which has had lots of media exposure, you should be able to find some data. Much harder for companies that haven't been in the media.
Of course for listed companies, you can get a lot of information from the relevant stock exchange site.
There is a group we have worked with a few years ago IBIS World, they build industry profiles from a range of free and paid services.
They have what you need but it will cost you to get it.
Outside of that you can use the "Research" option under "Review" in Microsoft Word it opens a right hand panel which will search for research data. I have highlighted the key aspects for you to drill down on.
Additional bit, I just thought you could also have a look at a few podcasts where they interview the CEO and CTOs of those companies, I have heard them on This Week In Startups and also I think on the BayCHI podcast
In the UK there's FAME Companies Database: http://fame.bvdep.com/version-201165/cgi/template.dll?product=1 I imagine that there are similar services in other countries.