I’ve got bad news for any investor with a penchant for masochism who’s looking to invest in the daily deals business: LivingSocial isn’t planning on going public anytime soon.
LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy recently said that his daily deals company has taken note of all the recent IPO flops, specifically including Groupon and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) , and isn’t interested. There were some prior expectations that the company was considering going public last year. O’Shaughnessy said that there are generally four reasons for companies to go public: branding, access to capital, liquidity needs, or currency for use in M&A deals.
None of these currently apply to LivingSocial, but he said that the company would consider going public if “any of those four things is ever very prohibitive to us.”
Thanks to Amazon.com’s (Nasdaq: AMZN ) investment in the company, we know that it lost $558 million last year on revenue of $245 million. The e-tail giant also recently disclosed in a 10-Q that LivingSocial’s first quarter saw revenue of $110 million, resulting in a $92 million operating loss.
It’s pretty mind-boggling why other giants, like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , want in on the space, recently launching Google Offers and MSN Offers, respectively. There are also countless local entrants, who are all anxious to hop in on the losing proposition, which they’re more than welcome to do, because there are virtually no barriers to entry in this business.
Sadly, there are also no competitive advantages. That’s not stopping LivingSocial from trying to set itself apart, though, launching new services and packaged offerings. CFO John Bax said that the company has stopped raising additional capital after bringing in $176 million in financing, according to Reuters.
As if daily deals investors didn’t already have enough to worry about, they won’t be able to get their hands on LivingSocial directly anytime soon. I guess there’s still always Groupon.