Lefkofsky’s track record, reflecting failures and successes, bears certain hallmarks: rapid revenue growth accompanied by big losses, a penchant to sell stock early on, and lawsuits filed by investors, lenders or customers who feel they have been wronged.Lefkofsky began his first venture, athletic-apparel maker Brandon Apparel, which he and Keywell bought after graduating law school together, in 1994.
But Groupon’s IPO has brought an uncomfortable spotlight onto Lefkofsky.
While some attention focuses on his ambitions as an investor in tech startups, others see a “spotty history” and draw parallels between the past and the present.
Not long after that transaction, Ha-Lo declared bankruptcy.
In early 2000, Starbelly sold itself to another company called Ha-Lo Industries for $240 million, much of which went to the author of those words, a man named Eric Lefkofsky.
Before Starbelly, Keywell and Lefkofsky founded a sportswear company called Brandon Apparel. Everyone remembers things they said a decade or more ago they may regret today.