Groupon's two other co-founders, Lefkofsky and Keywell, stayed in Chicago. The serial entrepreneurs each founded a company now valued at more than $1 billion.
Keywell, who stepped down from Groupon's board a little over a year ago, launched Uptake Technologies in July 2014.
The company, which collects and analyzes data from heavy machinery, now employs about 700 people, most of whom are at its headquarters in the Goose Island neighborhood. Uptake, which has faced its own growing pains, declined to make Keywell available for comment.
Lefkofsky launched cancer-fighting data startup Tempus shortly after stepping down as Groupon's CEO. Tempus, which is valued at $2 billion, employs about 550 people and operates out of the same building as Groupon and Uptake, the former Montgomery Ward catalog building at 600 W. Chicago Ave.
Tempus gathers and analyzes data for doctors to use in cancer treatment, and the company has plans to apply its technology to treating other diseases and to expand outside the U.S.
Lefkofsky has tried to learn from what worked at Groupon and what didn't. It's easy now to say what Groupon should have done differently, he said.
The growth it experienced its first few years was difficult to manage. He learned to be patient and not to be short-sighted. He learned about the work it takes to control rampant growth and that the scrutiny of public markets can make that job more challenging.
"When you're in that job where you're running the day-to-day operations, I think you bring everything with you from the past. You bring it all. The good and the bad," Lefkofsky said. "My approach has always been to try to kind of repeat everything that has gone well and really do the opposite of what-what hasn't. ... I think we've done more things right than wrong."