Living Social Buys South Korea’s Ticket Monster

Groupon got a flying jump investing in overseas properties that have basically cloned its daily deal concept and set up local operations. International now accounts for 54 percent of Groupon’s revenues, according to the S-1 it filed with the SEC in preparation for its IPO.

Living Social has not been as aggressive, mostly operating in Australia and New Zealand. But it also recently purchased Ensogo, which has operations in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia (where it operates under the “DealKeren” brand.

Today, Living Social announced a deal to acquire TicketMonster, the largest daily deal site in South Korea. “TMon,” as it is called locally, is one of more than 500 online daily deal providers in South Korea, but has about 45 percent of the market with a mixture of local deals and manufactured goods. It has more than 600 employees and earned more than $95 million in revenue in the first half of 2011. The site was launched in May 2010 and has grown 48 percent per month for the past 15 months.

In an interview with Kara Swisher at All Things D, American-educated CEO and founder Daniel Shin, 25, who was previously with a display ad company purchased by Google, said that Korea differs from the U.S. in terms of its heavy usage of ecommerce and especially location based services. That emphasis will fit in well with Living Social’s recent focus on Living Social Walk-In Deals (and possibly, with Amazon, which has pumped $175 million into Living Social and is starting its own daily service).

Local services remain at the core, but “it is more than just restaurants,” said Shin. He noted that the site has 60 deals a day and is now set to expand into other parts of Asia. Earlier this year, Ticket Monster acquired Malaysia’s Everyday.com.my, a social shopping site.

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