LivingSocial Raises $30 Million, Goes Head-to-Head With Groupon
The “Flash e-commerce” space got hotter today, as Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial announced a new $30 million round led by U.S. Venture Partners. Grotech Ventures and Revolution (Steve Case’s company) are also participating.
The funding will be used to launch deal-a-day coupon sites in Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Raleigh-Durham and San Diego. These cities are actually live today, along with Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
LivingSocial got its start with Visual Bookshelf on Facebook, and has launched some additional applications since then (i.e., “Find a Happy Hour,” “Pick Your Five”). The company appears mostly focused, however, on the hot Deal a Day space, where it competes with Groupon, which has raised a total of $34.7 million, as well as a host of similarly themed providers (and many more on the way).
Last August, CEO and cofounder Tim O’Shaughnessy told us he sees the LivingSocial deals as “a huge opportunity” to market to customers based on their pronounced online preferences, and to take those preferences offline.