Daily deals web site and Groupon rival LivingSocial has raised a mind-boggling $400 million in a new round to take its total funding to over half-a-billion dollars.
Well, $600 million is LivingSocial’s total funding if you schmucks must know the exact number.
Existing investors Amazon and Lightspeed Venture Partners and newbies T. Rowe Price and Institutional Venture Partners ponied up the money (Source: NYT).
In the NYT’s calculation, the deal values LivingSocial at over $3 billion.
The money will go toward fueling the company’s frenetic growth in domestic and international markets.
We have never used LivingSocial although we’ve tried Groupon a few times.
Conceptually speaking, all these deal sites are the same.
You get 50%-70% of retail price for a meal, eye test, Yoga classes, Botox injection, a vacation or for a thousand other such services or products.
LivingSocial boasts of 26 million members in 206 daily deal markets and 46 Family Edition markets. Its larger rival and deals Goliath Groupon has 60 million subscribers.
Washington DC-based LivingSocial plans to expand to 400 markets by the end of 2011.
LivingSocial recently rolled out Instant Deals in Washington, DC to offer consumers immediate deals at restaurants and attractions within a half mile radius via their LivingSocial mobile app. Merchants get the flexibility to drive business when they need it most.
Look out for Instant Deals in other markets in the coming weeks.
What the Future Portends
Deals, while they satisfy the restless cravings of a gluttonous rabble, are obviously not good for the retailers’ bottomline.
Also, we doubt there’s an opportunity for so many coupon peddlers.
The shakeout is coming sooner than you think.