LivingSocial is expected to get $150 million investment from Amazon

By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 1, 2010; 8:26 PM

Amazon is expected to announce as early as Thursday that it is investing more than $150 million in LivingSocial, a District-based Web site that offers daily discounts with local merchants, according to several sources familiar with the deal.

Amazon's minority investment will value LivingSocial at around $1 billion, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The investment comes amid a swirl of attention on the online marketing sector, fanned by recent reports that Google is preparing to pay billions to acquire Chicago-based Groupon, a major competitor of LivingSocial.

LivingSocial, which expects to gross $100 million in revenue this year and several times that in 2011, operates in more than 120 markets in five countries and boasts 10 million subscribers.

Tim O'Shaughnessy, LivingSocial's co-founder and chief executive, declined to comment Wednesday. He is the son-in-law of Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

LivingSocial's D.C.-area investors include former AOL chairman Steve Case and Grotech Ventures, a Tysons Corner venture capital firm. Both Case and Grotech declined to comment.

Groupon's investors include Ted Leonsis, chairman of Washington's Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and New Enterprise Associates, a District-based venture-capital firm.

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