Groupon competitor and group buying powerhouse LivingSocial announced today it would be acquiring a majority stake in Spanish startup Let’s Bonus, a pioneer social shopping site in Europe. The acquisition marks the companies’ most recent foray into global expansion. LivingSocial now has presence in ten countries, which includes those countries where Let’s Bonus already has a strong presence: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, and Mexico.
Having launched only in September of 2009, Let’s Bonus quickly grew to 200 employees and created a strong presence in major centers like Barcelona, Madrid and Buenos Aires by offering typical daily discount deals of 70% off on fun and exclusive activities, such as gourmet dinners, luxury spas, and romantic escapes. LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy says it’s a move to expand the company into diverse multilingual markets – “Not only is LivingSocial available in ten countries, but this acquisition we’ve gone multilingual, offering deals in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.”
LivingSocial already has a significant presence in the United States, Canada, U.K., and Australia. Along with Groupon, it is considered to be one of the fastest growing companies in this space, serving more than 16 million subscribers in 170+ markets. With this acquisition, LivingSocial further cements itself as a serious competitor to market leader Groupon, which has been eyeing international expansion itself with its own international acquisitions. With a business model that is so easy to duplicate, LivingSocial has stood out from the pack of clones through strong brand differentiation and rapid expansion into new markets.