LivingSocial expands in Asia, Netherlands, Mideast

Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:30pm BST

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* LivingSocial expands to 21 countries

* Buys Ensogo, DealKeren and GoNabit

* Launches daily deal site in the Netherlands

By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - LivingSocial bought three online daily deal websites spanning Asia and the Middle East and started a site in the Netherlands as part of its plan to expand globally, the company said on Monday.

The acquisitions of Ensogo, DealKeren and GoNabit expand LivingSocial's market to 21 countries from 13.

"This is a business model that has both universal attributes across borders," said Jake Maas, LivingSocial's senior vice president corporate and business development.

The company, the No. 2 U.S. social deal site behind Groupon, did not disclose the terms of the transactions.

Ensogo, which also owns DealKeren in Indonesia, is the No. 1 social deal site in that country as well as Thailand and the Philippines, with more than 800,000 members.

GoNabit, based in the United Arab Emirates, is the leading online daily deals site in four Middle Eastern countries.

LivingSocial seeks to grow internationally by either setting up its own daily deal sites or buying existing companies.

"Our strategy is to partner with and work with local teams who share the long-term vision of LivingSocial," Maas said.

Washington-based LivingSocial has 39 million subscribers and 2,000 employees worldwide with the most recent acquisitions.

In April, the company raised $400 million in a round of funding that included LightSpeed Venture Partners and Amazon (AMZN.O), giving it a value of about $3 billion. [ID:nN05151482]

LivingSocial offers discounts on restaurant dining, lodging and other items, alerting members via email. It gets revenue from local merchants that agree to the discounts.

The company expects revenue of $1 billion this year.

Companies like LivingSocial and Groupon have stoked investor interest in high-growth Internet companies that rely on social media.

Groupon plans to raise $750 million in its IPO, which could value the company at $15 billion to $20 billion. [ID:nN02283211] (Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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