WhaleShark Media Hires Bankers, Preps For IPO

Amid all the noise over at SXSW, it emerged over the weekend that Austin-based WhaleShark Media, the online coupon website operator led by Cotter Cunningham, has hired three investment bankers for an IPO. According to the WSJ, WhaleShark has hired Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG for an IPO, expected in the third quarter of this year. WhaleShark has long been rumored among the Austin technology community to be planning an IPO bid soon, but the hiring of bankers marks the first concrete, external indication of how close that IPO may occur.

Just a few months ago, the company announced it had passed $140M in revenues in 2012; a public disclosure which is highly unusual for a private company. Those numbers were released on the hiring of a new CFO--Douglas Jeffries--who most recently was at publicly traded software firm Taleo, and also has significant public company experience. CEO Cotter also has public company experience, having previously took Bankrate public as its COO.

WhaleShark Media operates RetailMeNot, a major online site for finding coupon deals for e-commerce retailers.