According to the Wall Street Journal, LivingSocial announced in a memo on Wednesday that they raised $110 million from existing investors. In a memo to employees this morning, CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy characterized the action as an “equity” round – essentially selling 7.5% of the company. The daily-deal site needs the money after burning through a pile of cash the past two years – posting a net loss of $650 million in 2012, and $499 million in 2011. The company also laid off 400 employees in November.
So the question: Are LivingSocial’s investors rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?
PrivCo thinks so; the research firm lashed out at the “daily-deal bubble” in the wake of LivingSocial’s announcement, and calls the money “emergency funding.” In O’Shaughnessy’s memo to employees, he accused PrivCo of lying, noting that “The quotes from a senior LivingSocial communication executive are straight up fiction,” and “Two of the three investors listed on the PrivCo site as participating in the round didn’t participate, and one isn’t even an investor in the company.”
No word from LivingSocial on what exactly they plan to do differently with the new capital, besides “building a significant cash reserve against unanticipated events or bumps in the road,” according to O’Shaughnessy.
Groupon – the most high-profile competitor of LivingSocial – has seen its stock price more than double since hitting a record low of $2.63 in November. However, the current price as of publishing time – $5.59 – is still a long ways off from the 53-week high of $25.84.