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LIVING FRUGAL? LivingSocial looking to sell Middle East operations for less than $3million
Rumors of a sell-out were at one point emerged earlier this week; now, it has been confirmed that the US-based daily deal site is looking to pull out of the Middle East, and fast.
August 15, 2012 5:37 by Eva Fernandes
Earlier this week Kipp reported of whispers of Living Social the US-based daily deal website which bought locally grown Gonabit for an undisclosed amount last year plans to pull out of its Middle East operations. Now, The National has confirmed these rumors with some rather shocking details to boot.
According to The National, Living Social has incurred severe losses in the Middle East—with reports of a loss of more than $500,000 (Dh1,836,250) in just one month of this year. Now the group is trying to sell its operations in UAE, Egypt and Lebanon by the end of this week for less than a surprising $3 million (Dh11 million)—but it is open to much lower offers.
LivingSocial acquired homegrown startup GoNabit just one year ago—when the company was in a better shape. Just before it acquired GoNabit, LivingSocial was dipping its feet in Asia by buying a deal website called Ensogo from Thailand and the Philippines and DealKeren in Indonesia. Despite acquiring GoNabit at a time when the Middle East daily deal website market was saturated with more than 20 group buying already competing for business, LivingSocial initially was doing pretty good. In fact, not ten days after LivingSocial acquired GoNabit did we hear rumors that the company was in talks with Barclays, JPMorgan Chase and Allen & Co to raise about $1 billion in an initial public offering.