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LivingSocial is in conversations with bankers about filing for an initial public offering at a valuation between $10 billion and $15 billion, according to CNBC.
The company offers “daily deals,” which let consumers purchase goods or services at steep discounts. LivingSocial users can then redeem those deals through the individual businesses that are selling them through the site. LivingSocial famously sold a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 as a publicity stunt, which attracted more than 430,000 consumers to the site.
LivingSocial would be the second major daily-deals site to file for an IPO this year. Chicago-based Groupon, LivingSocial’s biggest competitor and the top player in the daily-deals market, filed a $750 million initial public offering earlier this month.
But concerns about the profitability of the group-buying business model might put some ice on the IPO. Groupon has consistently lost money every quarter since launching in 2009 except for the first quarter of 2010, when it brought in a profit of $8 million. And unprofitable companies haven’t fared well when they debut. Both Pandora and Renren, two high-profile web companies that recently went public, fell below their offering price a few days after their debuts. Neither company is profitable.
VentureBeat originally broke news that LivingSocial was working on closing a funding round led by online retailer Amazon.com. The group buying company raised $175 million from Amazon.com as part of its fourth round of funding. LivingSocial was valued at around $1 billion when it closed that funding round. The site then authorized a $565 million funding round in April.
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