D.C. Based LivingSocial Raises $5 Million

Living Social LogoToday, D.C. based LivingSocial.com announced their first round of funding from Grotech Ventures and Steve and Jean Case. The company was started last year with the launch of the Facebook platform when the company first developed the Visual Bookshelf application. I interviewed Tim O’Shaughnessy back in February when the company was still operating under the name Hungry Machine LLC.

The company rapidly expanded beyond books to include movies, music, gaming, dining and drinking and now has applications for each of these channels on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut and hi5. LivingSocial has now positioned themselves as a serious competitor in the social discovery and cataloging market. The company has over 6.4 million users and have catalogued more than 80 million reviews.

This makes them a force to be reckoned with. The Visual Bookshelf has catalogued more comments on books than Amazon for the most popular books. Outside of Amazon, in the books category the company faces competition from companies like Goodreads and LibraryThing. In its other channels, the company faces a wide range of competition as well.

The company has been able to differentiate itself by focusing heavily on reviews and personal inventory management. There are a lot of possibilities for expansion and with this new round of funding you can guarantee that the company will be moving rapidly to build out on new platforms and expand their existing channels. Congratulations to the LivingSocial team, one of the leading D.C. based web start-ups.