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.
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.