LivingSocial plans to repay early supporters

April 15, 2011, 8:03 PM UTC

LivingSocial appears to have taken yet another page out of the Groupon play book.

Earlier this month, the Washington, D.C.-based daily deals company announced that it had raised $400 million in new venture capital funding, saying that the money would be used pursue “aggressive domestic and international growth and continued product innovation.”

What LivingSocial left out was that approximately half of the total (i.e., $200 million) is being used to partially cash out early investors and members of company management, according to a new regulatory filing.

This is similar to what Groupon did back in January, when it used $573 million of a $950 million funding round for liquidity purposes. The only real difference is that Groupon had just rejected a $6 billion buyout offer from Google (GOOG), and some of its shareholders were upset about missing out on an early payday. To my knowledge, LivingSocial has not (yet) been approached with such an opportunity.

No word yet on which LivingSocial investors and/or executives cashed in some of their shares. Prior to the $400 million round, LivingSocial had raised around $230 million from Grotech Ventures, Steve Case, U.S. Venture Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The more recent deal also included involvement from T. Rowe Price and Institutional Venture Partners.

I’ve emailed a company spokeswoman, and will update this post if she responds.

Update: Michael Arrington has gotten some details on LivingSocial’s financials: $2.9 billion valuation, and just under $50 million in February revenue.

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