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Groupon CEO: 'We're the leader in local commerce by far'

With its share price tanking during the first half of Friday's trading session, Groupon's CEO brushed off the stock's tailspin during an interview with CNBC, saying demand has reached record levels at his company.

"It was a record quarter for us," Eric Lefkofsky said on "Squawk on the Street, adding that Groupon sold 56 million deals in the most recent earnings period. "We're the leader in local commerce by far."

Groupon shares were down more than 18 percent at noon Friday, the day after the deal-of-the-day website released weaker-than-expected revenue guidance, despite beating Wall Street's earnings estimates. Groupon forecast a loss of between 2 and 4 cents per share in the current quarter because of dramatically rising marketing costs.

(Read more: Groupon forecasts quarterly loss on hike in marketing costs)

Lefkofsky told CNBC that the company needed to make a big investment in advertising as more users shift to its mobile app from its desktop website. The company plans to pour $45 million into an advertising push, he said. It's about making people "consider Groupon a shopping mall in their pocket," he said.

"We actually viewed [it] as a sign of strength that we were able to make that investment," Lefkofsky said.

(Read more: Groupon earnings beat; guidance disappointing)

About 50 percent of Groupon users have adopted its mobile platform, he said. As the company moves deeper into the mobile marketplace, it needs to make users aware of its deals while they are on the move.

"We really view mobile and local as connected, and we're trying to become the starting point of mobile commerce," Lefkofsky said. "That's how we're ultimately going to win."

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street." Reuters contributed to this report.