(Reuters) – LivingSocial has picked Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank to lead-underwrite an IPO that could value the daily deals site at $10 billion to $15 billion, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
The three banks declined to comment.
LivingSocial, runner-up to Groupon in the fast-expanding daily deal market, is the latest Internet startup seeking to woo investors keen to pile into social media companies from LinkedIn and Twitter to Zynga and Facebook.
In April, LivingSocial raised $400 million in a round of funding that included LightSpeed Venture Partners and Amazon, giving it a value of about $3 billion.
To date, LivingSocial has raised $648 million in venture capital, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). Besides Amazon and Lightspeed, its backers include Grotech Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price Threshold Partners, U.S. Venture Partners and Steve Case, co-founder and former CEO of America Online (via Case Foundation Ventures and Revolution LLC), Thomson Reuters reports.
The company’s earliest investors were Case, Grotech and LivingSocial’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Aaron Batalion, and chief information officer, Val Aleksenko. They all participated in the company’s Series A funding, which was done in three tranches from June 2008 to December 2009 and totaled about $10 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Larger rival Groupon has filed for its own public debut, at a potential valuation of $15 billion to $20 billion.
LivingSocial offers discounts on restaurant dining, lodging and other items, alerting its 39 million members via email about the deals. It gets its revenue — expected to hit $1 billion this year — from local merchants that agree to the discounts.
CNBC first reported the selection of lead underwriters on Friday.
Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Reuters; Editing by Gary Hill, Reuters.
Additional reporting by Lawrence Aragon, peHUB