Deals

LivingSocial closes $176 million round. How far off is an IPO?

Daily deals site LivingSocial has closed a monster $176 million round of financing, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. VentureBeat has learned that the $176 million is the first tranche of  $400 million the company hopes to raise over the next weeks and months to finance continued operations and expansion.

We reported in mid-November that the company was looking to raise $200 million at a $5 billion valuation. Investment bank JP Morgan, Lightspeed Ventures and Amazon.com all participated in the current round. One year ago this week, Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial. The daily-deals site has raised a total of $808 million in private funding and has spent $353 million to buy companies such as SocialMedia.com, TicketMonster and Urban Escapes. The current investment values the company at $6 billion.

LivingSocial is the No. 2 daily deals site in the U.S. after Groupon, which filed for an IPO in November. One of the criticisms of Groupon has been that it is very costly to have that many sales team members, and LivingSocial follows the same model. LivingSocial is based in Washington D.C. and claims to have a human sales representative in every city with a deals presence, according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, LivingSocial also had plans to file for an initial public offering, which would value the company at $10 billion, but scaled back its plans due to economic uncertainty. The outstanding $224 million the company plans to raise should allow it to further delay IPO plans while it seeks out future growth and waits for the public markets to settle.

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