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Amazon invests $175 million in daily-discount Web site LivingSocial

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 3, 2010; 12:28 AM

Online retail giant Amazon.com is investing $175 million in LivingSocial, a District-based Web site that offers daily discounts with local merchants, LivingSocial announced Thursday.

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The minority investment by Amazon values LivingSocial at about $1 billion.

"To be the biggest player in the local commerce space there is no one better to work with than Amazon," LivingSocial co-founder and chief executive Tim O'Shaughnessy said in a statement.

LivingSocial said in a news release that it would use the investment, including an additional $8 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, to fuel growth.

LivingSocial is grossing $1 million a day and expects to reach $500 million in revenue next year. The company has 10 million subscribers and operates in more than 120 markets across five countries.

Amazon's investment in social commerce comes amid reports that Chicago-based Groupon - a LivingSocial rival - is going to be bought by Google for billions of dollars.

LivingSocial's Washington area investors include former AOL chairman Steve Case and Grotech Ventures, a Tysons Corner venture capital firm. O'Shaughnessy is the son-in-law of Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham.

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

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