March 11, 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 $25 million Series B round of venture funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. Grotech Ventures and Steve Case’s Revolution LLC are also participating.
With this round of funding, LivingSocial Deals is launching in four additional cities: Chicago, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, and San Diego, making the program live in 13 markets across the country. The company plans to be available in dozens of cities by the end of the year.
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, the company states. LivingSocial Deals allows local merchants to take advantage of viral marketing through the popularity of Facebook and the iPhone platform.
“With more than a million people already using LivingSocial Deals, online group buying is a movement that is clearly resonating with consumers,” says LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy.
LivingSocial describes itself as a “local activity discovery engine – the place where anyone can find out what’s ‘hot’ in and around their city.” As a result, it not only gives local merchants an innovative way to reach nearby customers, but also leverages LivingSocial’s social media knowledge to grant merchants access to the company’s extensive community of more than 85 million people.LivingSocial also launched an affiliate program March 11, allowing large and small sites, such as blogs, to generate revenue by delivering discounts targeted to their loyal readers. Merchants participating in the affiliate program will be able to reach into new media without having to create, develop, and manage individual relationships with an ever-growing cast of bloggers or other local content sites.
LivingSocial’s group-buying service has grown rapidly since its launch in August 2009, expanding from Washington, D.C., to New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities.
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