LivingSocial Raises $14 Million Series C, Challenging Groupon
This morning I went on YouTube.com and saw a huge banner at the top that features LivingSocial.com’s Daily Deal in the city of Detroit. If you go to LivingSocial.com right now, it will show you how their daily deals work — for me the website says “We’re coming soon to Ann Arbor.” I actually had no idea that LivingSocial was planning to compete with Groupon.com. And they have raised $14 million in Series C to do so.
This is only 6 weeks after LivingSocial raised $25 million in Series B. The lead investor is Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other investors include U.S. Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures, and Steve Case’s Revolution LLC.
LivingSocial’s biggest competitor, Groupon, raised $135 million and was given a $1.35 billion valuation recently. But LivingSocial plans to expand aggressively. LivingSocial will be launching in 4 new markets today (Portland, Orange County, Charlotte and Philadelphia) and is already established in 18 markets. The company has tripled their headcount to over 100 employees since the beginning of 2010. Tim O’Shaughnessy said that the rate of hiring will increase quickly. Aside from daily deals, LivingSocial is known for designing popular Facebook applications such as LivingSocial: Books, LivingSocial: Beers, LivingSocial: Movies, and LivingSocial: Albums.
Below is the full press release:
This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at +AmitChowdhry
LivingSocial Raises Series C Round Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners;
Launches in Portland, Orange County, Charlotte and Philadelphia
$14 Million Round Comes on Heels of $25 Million Series B Announcement Last Month
Company Also Begins Offering Hyperlocal Deals in Seattle Area – Users Can Now Get Deals Even Closer to their Homes
Washington D.C., April 29, 2010 – LivingSocial, the social commerce leader behind LivingSocial Deals and top Facebook applications Visual Bookshelf and Pick Your Five, today announced that it has completed a $14 million Series C round of venture funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with U.S. Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures and Steve Case’s Revolution, LLC participating. Because of the rapid growth, and high user demand, LivingSocial will use the capital infusion to expand into additional markets – bringing Deals to dozens more cities throughout the U.S. in 2010. This additional funding comes on the heels of the company’s recent $25 million Series B round announced last month.
“We’ve known and admired the LivingSocial team for a long time, and I have bought many of their terrific local offers. They’ve done an excellent job of growing their user base through smart media buying and excellent knowledge of social channels and virality,” said Jeremy Liew, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners. “With this financing round, LivingSocial is very well positioned to bring their great offers to even more people.”
LivingSocial is also launching its Deals program in four new markets: Portland, Orange County, Charlotte and Philadelphia. This brings LivingSocial live in 18 cities across the country with major plans to expand to dozens of markets throughout the year.
“We’re constantly receiving requests from our users to expand and launch in their markets, and this recent funding round will allow us to do just that,” said Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial. “We’re really excited to introduce LivingSocial to Portland, Orange County, Charlotte and Philadelphia to continue generating huge savings for our users and even bigger returns for our merchants.”
LivingSocial users throughout the country saved an average of more than $32 each in March, and have saved tens of millions of dollars since the launch of Deals in 2009. By signing up for LivingSocial’s free daily online service, people are saving an average of 50-70% at their favorite places, such as the hottest local restaurants, spas, sporting events, hotels, and other local attractions.
Because LivingSocial wants to give consumers more availability to the program, the company is launching hyperlocal deals for the Seattle area. Now consumers in areas like Tacoma and Bellevue will start getting deals targeted to their location, in addition to Seattle proper. Hyperlocal deals not only help more consumers explore new things in their city, but these deals also provide merchants with a greater opportunity to reach local audiences on the LivingSocial Deals platform.
LivingSocial is now live in 18 markets including: Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, Chicago, Raleigh Durham, Denver, San Diego, the San Fernando Valley, Portland, Orange County, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Dozens of additional cities are expected to roll out in the coming months. For more information or to sign up your city, go to http://livingsocial.com.
LivingSocial is an online community that connects more than 85 million people to all the things they care about. LivingSocial powers group buying through Deals, its new social commerce program which invites people and their friends to save 50 percent off or more each day at their favorite restaurants, spas, sporting events, hotels and other local attractions in major cities. As the creator of top Facebook applications “Visual Bookshelf” and its flagship “LivingSocial,” it’s the most comprehensive place on the Web for people to engage with others around topics like entertainment, food, fashion, technology and more. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C. To sign up for Deals in your city, or to find out more information about LivingSocial, visit www.livingsocial.com. You can also follow LivingSocial on Twitter at www.twitter.com/livingsocial.
About Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm with over $2 billion of committed capital under management. Lightspeed’s investment professionals and advisors are located in Silicon Valley, China, India and Israel. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed more than 150 companies, many of which have become leaders in their respective markets, including Blue Nile, Brocade, Ciena, DoubleClick, eHealth, Flixster, Informatica, Kiva Software, Kosmix, LightLogic, Openwave, Playdom, Quantum Effect Devices, Riverbed, RockYou, ShoeDazzle, The Find, Virsa Systems, and Waveset.