LivingSocial

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LivingSocial
LivingSocial logo.
Web address LivingSocial.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Electronic commerce
Available language(s) English and others (for 27 countries)
Owner LivingSocial Inc.
Created by Tim O'Shaughnessy, Aaron Batalion, Eddie Frederick, Val Aleksenko
Launched 2007
Alexa rank negative increase 1,480 (April 2014)[1]
Current status Active

LivingSocial is a local marketplace that features discounted gift certificates usable nationally or at 16 countries around the world. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial now has more than 70 million members around the world world and 205 million vouchers to date. LivingSocial is broken down into 5 catgories: local, escapes, shop, at home and coupons..


History[edit]

LivingSocial was founded as Hungry Machine in 2007 by four employees from Revolution Health Group. The company's first major application was their Visual Bookshelf application on Facebook which allowed users to catalog and share their favorite books with friends.[2] Later, the company released PickYourFive and other Polls applications, making LivingSocial the number one application developer on Facebook as measured by page views.[3] After acquiring BuyYourFriendADrink.com in 2009, LivingSocial launched a daily deals website, which since has become its highest grossing venture to date.[4]

In 2012 a class action was launched against LivingSocial in respect of expiry of deals, following a similar action against Groupon.[5] A provisional settlement was reached in November 2012.[6]

On April 26, 2013 it was announced that LivingSocial's database had been hacked, affecting 50 million registered users. The announcement stated that credit card information was stored in a separate database and was not compromised, but that user information including passwords, previously encrypted by LivingSocial as a precaution, had been exposed.[7] On May 1, 2013, Attorneys General from Connecticut and Maryland Attorney sent a joint letter to LivingSocial requesting additional information about the incident, as well as more details about the company's data management policies and procedures.[8]

In November 2013, LivingSocial's website went down for nearly 48 hours after a database error.[9]

In January 2014, LivingSocial's CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy announced his resignation, remaining CEO until a replacement can be found.[10]

Funding[edit]

The company received $5 million in Series A funding in June, 2008 from Grotech Ventures and Steve Case. In January 2010, LivingSocial raised $5 million in Series B funding from Grotech Ventures and AOL Founder Steve Case. Two months later, on March 11, 2010, the company announced a $25 million round led by U.S. Venture Partners, Grotech and Case. LivingSocial then acquired $14 million Series C round, from Lightspeed Venture Partners with U.S. Venture, Grotech and Case contributing.[11] Most recently, US Venture Partners and Grotech invested an additional $10.23 million of equity offering to the company. Its fundraising for 2010 comes to $50 million.[12] In December 2010, LivingSocial received a $175 million investment from Amazon.com.[13] LivingSocial also received an additional $8 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners.[13] In March 2011, less than four months after the $175 million Amazon investment, LivingSocial raised an additional $400 million from prior investors like Amazon and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and several new ones including T. Rowe Price and Institutional Venture Partners. . In November 2011, Living Social received $176 million in funding from J,P. Morgan Securities, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Amazon. Most recently US Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, J.P. Morgan Secutiires and T. Rowe Price gave LivingSocial $110 million. (Crunchbase) As of early April 2011, LivingSocial was valued at more than $3 billion.[14][15]

Acquisitions[edit]

  • In October 2010, LivingSocial announced acquisition of social adventure company Urban Escapes, which led to the launch of LivingSocial Escapes and LivingSocial Adventures.[16]
  • In November 2010, LivingSocial bought $5 million controlling stake in Australian social shopping site Jump On It. In March 2012, LivingSocial purchased Jump On it fro $40 million. [17] The acquisition makes LivingSocial the biggest social shopping player in Australia.[18]
  • In January 2011, LivingSocial acquired a majority stake in LetsBonus, which now operates in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Launched in September 2009 in Barcelona, LetsBonus was an early operator of a collective buying service in Europe, particularly in the Spanish market.[19]
  • In March 2011, LivingSocial acquired InfoEther, a Ruby/Rails consultancy.[20] Ruby on Rails is the platform upon which LivingSocial runs.[21]
  • In June 2011, Dubai Based GoNabit, an Arabic website for daily deals, was acquired by LivingSocial. GoNabit operates in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, and claims to have saved consumers more than $5m in 2010-2011.[citation needed] Group buying websites typically sign up a range of businesses to offer discounts, and take a percentage of the revenue.
  • In June 2011, LivingSocial acquired DealKeren, which offers daily deals in Indonesia, and its parent company Ensogo, which offer daily deals in Thailand and the Philippines. Officially launched in June 2010, Ensogo currently has more than 800,000 members.[citation needed] Ensogo claims that its members have saved more than $25 million USD in 2010-2011.[citation needed] Ensogo is backed by Rebate Networks, an international venture capital group specializing in social commerce.[22]
  • In August 2011, LivingSocial acquired TicketMonster for $350 million. TicketMonster is one of the largest daily deal sites in South Korea and has an annualized run rate of $800 million in billings. In Novemebr 2013, LivingSocial sold TicketMonster to Groupon for $260 million.
  • In April 2012, ONOSYS, a mobile and online ordering provider, was acquired by LivingSocial. ONOSYS operates in Cleveland, Ohio, and services over 75 restaurant chains including Papa Johns International Inc., Panera Bread, and Applebee's International Inc.[23]

Good Deal Guarantee[edit]

In November 2013, LivingSocial introduced the Good Deal Guarantee. This offers customers more time to receive refunds when making returns. According to the guarantee, customers can get a full refund on any unredeemed, unscheduled voucher within seven days of purchase. After seven days, you can exchange an unredeemed, unscheduled voucher until it expires for the paid value in Deal Bucks. According to CMO Barry Judge, “This will help us to improve the consumer experience overall and to increase the value we offer to our merchant partners by helping them to attract the high-quality customers they desire.” [24]

LivingSocial Coupons[edit]

In October 2013 LivingSocial launched “Coupons.” This allows consumers to access and redeem over 15,000 free promo codes, coupons and information on sales from over 3,800 retailers. [25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Livingsocial.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ Hart, Kim. "LivingSocial Takes Top Spot Among Facebook Apps - Post I.T. - A Technology Blog From The Washington Post - (washingtonpost.com)". Voices.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  3. ^ "LivingSocial Becomes the Largest Facebook Application Ever". Allfacebook.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  4. ^ "Citybizlist Washington DC - Hungry Machine/Living Social Devours Another $10.2M - cbl". Dc.citybizlist.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  5. ^ Washington Business Journal
  6. ^ Settlement details
  7. ^ "Living Social Database Hacked; 50 Million customers impacted". redtape.nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  8. ^ Radke, Bruce A.; Michael J. Waters (May 16, 2013). "Letter from Attorneys General to LivingSocial Can Serve as Guide for Companies Seeking to Protect Personal Information". The National Law Review (Vedder Price). ISSN 2161-3362. 
  9. ^ Overly, Steven. The Washington Post, November 17, 2013, "The Download: LivingSocial goes down for nearly 48 hours after critical database error". Accessed March 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Flook, Bill. January 10, 2014, Washington Business Journal, "Exclusive: LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy to step down". Accessed March 3, 2014.
  11. ^ April 29, 2010 Jolie O'Dell View Comments (2010-04-29). "Groupon Competitor LivingSocial Has Now Raised $44 Million This Year". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  12. ^ Swisher, Kara (2010-09-16). "LivingSocial Brings Funding Up to $50 Million, Launches in 25 New Cities | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD". Kara.allthingsd.com. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  13. ^ a b December 3, 2010 Riley McDermid (2010-12-03). "Group buying startup LivingSocial starts living large with $175M from Amazon". VentureBeat.com. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  14. ^ April 4, 2011 Evelyn M. Rusli. (2011-04-04). "In Race With Groupon, LivingSocial Raises $400 Million". New York Times online.com. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  15. ^ Klein, Allison (2011-04-05). "LivingSocial, based in D.C., raises $400 million as it vies with Groupon". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  16. ^ "LivingSocial Continues to Differentiate with Purchase of Urban Escapes". www.blog.kelseygroup.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  17. ^ "LivingSocial Buys 5 million controlling stake in jump on it". www.dailydealmedia.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  18. ^ "LivingSocial Expands into Australia with 5m investment in jump on it". www.socialtimes.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  19. ^ "LivingSocial acquires a majority stake in Let's Bonus". www.fusiondiginet.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  20. ^ "LivingSocial gains wealth of ruby on rails expertise with Infoether acquisition". www.fusiondiginet.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  21. ^ "LivingSocial acquires rubyrails consultancy infoether". www.dctechsource.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  22. ^ "LivingSocial Expands Daily Deals Empire; Buys Ensogo, GoNabit And DealKeren". TechCrunch. 
  23. ^ "LivingSocial Buys Online Ordering System Provider ONOSYS". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  24. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/dc-livingsocial-idUSnBw216306a+100+BSW20131121.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ http://www.webpronews.com/livingsocial-launches-larger-deal-inventory-new-merchant-tools-and-coupons-2013-09.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]