Oh, how times change. Daily-deals site LivingSocial is being purchased by its chief competitor, Groupon, for a “non-material” amount.
Groupon announced the purchase during its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday. The deal is expected to close in the next month, and Groupon looks to increase its customer base significantly and shake its fiercest competitor at the same time.
For LivingSocial, the acquisition marks the close of a tough chapter for the company, a time in which it battled it out with Groupon and during which people fell in and out of love with the concept of daily deals.
Founded in 2007, LivingSocial was worth as much as $6 billion during its peak in 2011, when it raised a $176 million Series F round led by J.P. Morgan Securities. It claimed as many as 70 million members in 2013, and it raised nearly $1 billion in total, acquiring 10 companies — including Ticket Monster for $350 million.
At one point, LivingSocial planned to IPO, seeking a valuation up to $10 billion, but the public offering fell apart as the daily-deals boom fizzled, leading The New York Times to call it “more unicorpse than unicorn.” Groupon isn’t revealing how much it will pay for LivingSocial, but it doesn’t sound like much. And it’s a sobering reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in the fast-moving tech industry.
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