LivingSocial axes 10% of workforce

LivingSocial, once the promising number two deals company behind Groupon, confirmed today that it has laid off 400 workers, or around 10 percent of its global workforce.

dave-mcclure

Dave McClure: hottest investments, favorite start-ups, biggest screwups, and clueless founders

Dave McClure is one of the most prominent angel investors in Silicon Valley — and possibly the world. His accelerator, 500 Startups, will fund its 500th company sometime this year. And no, in answer to “all the stupid questions,” 500 Startups will not shut its doors after reaching that number.
He may also take the prize for most F-bombs per sentence of any investor.

HotelTonight

Why HotelTonight is a deal company I can get behind

Discount hotel app HotelTonight announced $23 million in funding yesterday. It’s the kind of deal company I can get behind. (Disclosure: HotelTonight provided me a $100 credit to try the service.)

LivingSocial attempts a more hands-on approach to local commerce

In its latest experiment in local commerce, LivingSocial is getting hands on with a new events space in downtown DC. Called 918 F, the space hosts a variety of events including cooking classes, zumba sessions, pop-up restaurants, and painting classes with wine.

Groupon changes payment terms

Groupon tightens its payment terms with merchants

Groupon is changing its payment terms with merchants, according to several sources familiar with Groupon’s business and contracts. The company has traditionally used two different payment models. In the United States and Canada, merchants have been paid in three installments.

How Amazon can be a friend to small businesses

I’ve been testing out the Kindle Fire tablet for the last several weeks. At $199, it’s a tremendous value. It’s no iPad — I just upgraded to the new iPad as well — but it provides a solid base-level tablet and reader. I can think of a lot of uses for it: an e-book reader, a video consumption device, and a dedicated Sonos controller. But the most exciting use I can see for it would be for Amazon to turn into a device that helps small, local retailers.

Whale

Groupon’s whale problem

I’ve long suspected that Groupon has a whale problem — that a lot of its revenue comes from a small number of customers. New research from ForeSee indicates that this may be the case.

Daily deals inspiring repeat business, study finds

Daily deal providers such as Groupon and LivingSocial are often criticized for driving low-quality business to merchants, but these young companies may, in fact, be purveyors of loyal customers.

A 1-star review of Yelp’s advertiser agreement

Yelp’s advertiser agreement combines some of the worst elements of Yellow Pages, Aol and cell phone agreements. As with many such agreements, it’s very lopsided in Yelp’s favor. (See my analysis of the similarly lopsided Groupon merchant agreement.)

piggybank

LivingSocial lost $558M in 2011

Amazon spent $175 million for a 31 percent stake in number two daily deals site LivingSocial, and in so doing bought us all the best look yet at the privately-held Groupon competitor’s financials.

Money Roll

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.

LivingSocial set to raise almost $200M at $5B valuation

Daily deals site LivingSocial is close to raising nearly $200 million in venture financing, which will value the site at $5 billion, The New York Times has reported, citing unnamed sources close to the matter. Previous LivingSocial investors such as Amazon.com are expected to participate along with new investors, according to the Times.

Weak technology weighs down Groupon’s sinking ship

Groupon’s first technology product Groupon Now appears to be a stinking dud, according to data released on Sunday. The Groupon Now mobile app chalking up some very dour numbers, according to a new report compiled by Yipit, an industry performance tracker. The app has generated approximately $2.6 million in gross sales nationwide in the six months since its launch in May of 2011.

Stuart Wall

Can Groupon evolve as fast as the market it created?

Every morning, somewhere between 4 and 6 a.m., my inbox is assaulted by daily deal emails. This morning I fought back, feeling a sense of accomplishment as I deleted my last offer: 50 percent off a Brazilian Wax. Sound familiar? Groupon, the inventor of daily deals, has become one of the fastest growing companies in the history of the world. Much to its chagrin, Groupon seems to have created one of the fastest growing, most competitive industries in the world: 581 daily deal copycats now compete for your inbox.

Google Offers

Google Offers expands to New York and San Francisco

Google Offers, the mega search company’s Groupon competitor, launched in beta last month in Portland, and we knew it was only a matter of time before it started offering daily deals to the rest of the U.S. Today, Google is touting deals to prospective customers in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.