livedeal_logo2.gifLiveDeal, the Santa Clara online classified site, which has plenty of competition, has managed anyway to raise $4.9 million in funding.

As we mentioned last time (see comments too), LiveDeal’s VP of corporate development, Steve Harmon, may a controversial past, but he is good at cutting deals. Indeed, the company says it has formed joint venture with Torstar, a big Canadian media company, which is also the lead investor in the round. Torstar will offer a version of LiveDeal in Canada later this year, the company said. Bill Draper also invested.

In April, the company said it was aiming to raise $7 million to $10 million. But now the company tells VentureWire (sorry, subscription required) that it lowered the Series B funding target to $4 million as a result of…

the Torstar deal: “So the immediate need for cash is much less than what we thought it was,” said chief executive Rajesh Nazar.

Still, we’re not sure what this company is doing that is different. It tells VentureWire that it is specializing in things that are difficult or impossible to ship, such as pets and real estate — and that this makes it different than eBay or Craigslist. Ok, pets maybe (Update: Although a reader points out Petsoogle.com; this is beginning to feel like 1999). But real estate — one of us (Matt) bought his house on Craigslist. And there are all kinds of homes being sold on eBay. Or maybe we’re missing something?

Update: Though there is a casualty in this crowded space of online classifieds. Chief executive at Pleasanton’s Swapstar, Robert Coackley, has stepped down, according to VentureWire.

Coackley, reached by phone, said he stepped down “a couple of weeks ago.” He said he could not provide details on why he left, saying only, “you know how these things go.”

…Coackley said Swapstar has been trying to raise a Series A round of $2 million to $3 million in funding since last August, with the goal of closing the round around Thanksgiving, in late November. “It was shaping up quite well,” he said, though he added that it is difficult to interest venture capitalists in Internet-related consumer markets.

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