A timely market domain overview
The two dominant players in the field are LivingSocial and Groupon—and both are highly successful. Washington-based LivingSocial has more than 16 million members, and Chicago-based Groupon more than 44 million. Plus, both private companies have serious financial backing: LivingSocial just raised $175 million from Amazon, and Groupon turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, instead raising nearly $1 billion from a variety of investors. The companies' success has inevitably kicked up copycats: Groupon's chief executive recently estimated that 500 imitators have popped up since the site got big. That raises a question: Is this the start of a group-deal boom or a group-deal bubble? Or is it something else entirely?