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LivingSocial founder/CTO announces departure

What Aaron Batalion will do next is anybody's guess

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 30, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2e73

In a recent story, I found that most founders who become the CEO of their company stay with it through IPO. Maybe I should have also seen if that applies to founders who become CTOs, now that one such example has announced that he is leaving his company.

Aaron Batalion, the co-founder and CTO of LivingSocial, has decided to step down, an announcement he made via blogpost Friday.

"What an incredible journey it has been since June of 2007, when the four of us knew only our direction, but definitely not our destination. After much soul searching, I have decided to leave LivingSocial to pursue some new ideas. No new adventure to announce yet, just a urge to go create… that there is more to do," he said.

When exactly Batalion will be leaving, or what his next move will be, are unknown at this time. But here are a couple of clues as to what he might do next.

First there was this Tweet, in which Batallion was invited into the Google Glass Explorers program, an early adopter program that is being made available for developers and consumers to test Google Glass and gauge how people will want to use the product.

I doubt that Batallion actually has a future with Google Glass, but that is still pretty cool that he is getting to participate in that.

It is more likely that Batallion could also become an angel investor, which is something that came up during a conversation between Vator CEO and founder Bambi Francisco and Batalion during a Vator Startup Session in November. 

Bambi asked about Batalion’s future plans: “What happens to Aaron?  Will you become an angel investor like so many others have?  You’re probably not going to get that founder’s crack high from that.”

“I’m really passionate about early stage, I advise a lot of companies right now, three or five person teams.  If you can help the company get to that hypergrowth, it’s like a contact high,” said Batalion in response. 

Whatever he does next, Batalion is certainly proud of what he accomplished as LivingSocial.

"As I look back today, we have processed billions in commerce transactions and have sent tens of billions of emails on technology we created. We took a simple two-week prototype and scaled it to an international business with thousands of fellow employees around the world," he wrote.

"We built a culture I am proud of and millions of consumers around the world have experienced their local cities because of our products. More importantly, we created an incredible team with many more strong moves yet to come. Knowing this makes me confident in LivingSocial’s future and the vision of local we have all been fighting for."

Founded in 2007, Washington D.C.-base LivingSocial already has more than 70 million subscribers in 613 markets around the world, and has raised close to a billion dollars in funding, most recently raising  a $110 million Series G round of financing in from existing investors in February, bringing its total funding to $918 million.

Of course, things are not all good at the company. In November it was forced to layoff 10% of its global workforce, and a regulatory filing from January showed that, while LivingSocial's revenue more than doubled in 2012, to $536 million from $250 million in 2011, its net loss also went up to $650 million from $499 million the year before.

LivingSocial could not be reached for further comment.

(Image source: http://www.gamespasm.com)


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