Turns out collective buying isn’t the only path down which LivingSocial is following local coupon hotshot Groupon. Less than two weeks after Groupon closed a $135 million Series C round from Digital Sky Technologies and Battery Ventures, LivingSocial has raised a $14 million Series C round led by new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners and including U.S. Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures and Revolution Capital. No, those numbers aren’t really in the same ballpark, but LivingSocial has its eyes on the No. 2 spot in a fast-growing market.
LivingSocial had previously raised a $25 million Series B round in March and a $5 million Series A-1 round in January. But although that may lead you to think CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy had spent every waking minute of 2010 raising money, the company also has a few product announcements today. One, it’s launching neighborhood deals, first in Seattle with three “hyperlocal” offerings per day; and two, it’s adding four new markets — Portland, Ore., Orange County, Calif., Charlotte, N.C. and Philadelphia — for a total of 18 U.S. cities.
“Admittedly it’s an easy business to get into. It’s a hard business to scale, ” said O’Shaughnessy of the many, many collective buying sites — what we like to call the Groupon groupies. O’Shaughnessy said LivingSocial doesn’t launch into a new market without having feet on the ground there to sell to merchants directly. As for Groupon, he said, “They’ve made a great business, have awesome traction, and a lot of money. More power to them.”
For more background on LivingSocial, see the story I wrote about their last funding round in March. Heck, it’s not even out of date!
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