LivingSocial is similar to GroupOn, abortion in that it offers discounts on local deals on everything from spas and skydiving to restaurants and museum passes. The discounts range from 25% to 75% off the normal price and offer businesses the ability to hyper-target their advertising to local consumers. The company collects payments from consumers, purchase keeps a small license fee and passes the rest to the businesses.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, co-founder and CEO of LivingSocial said “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”. The company will use this capital to expand beyond the 18 markets it currently serves, four of which (Charlotte , Orange County, Philadelphia, Portland) where launched last Thursday.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led this round of funding, with participation from U.S. Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures, and Steve Case’s Revolution, LLC. It came quickly after their Series B round last month that raised $25 million.
Will this be enough to let LivingSocial compete with Groupon, which recently raised $135 million and has an estimated total value of $1+billion, and others in the market? Only time will tell, but consumers are flocking to these communities in record numbers and the location based advertising and affiliate business models are enough to keep us interested in following their progress.