LivingSocial, one of the major players in the social-buying sector, has hired JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to oversee the company's upcoming initial public offering, The New York Times reported Friday.
According to the Times, LivingSocial managers have discussed in meetings with the bankers the possibility of raising $700 million to $1 billion in the stock sale. That would give the company a value of $10 billion to $15 billion.
If you're wondering what "social buying" is or if that sounds like a catchphrase left over from the previous bubble era, you're not alone. The company is one of Groupon's biggest competitors, another one of these deal-of-the-day services that offers discounts to users. LivingSocial is just one of the many tech start-ups preparing to test the public markets.
There's a lot of skepticism that many of the companies that have filed for IPOs or are considering them--including LinkedIn, Pandora, and Groupon--can justify their lofty valuations. Groupon has alreadyand the Times reports that the company's valuation may be as high as $30 billion.
What might add some credibility for the social-buying sector is thatand Facebook are competing there now.
Some of the other companies that have gone public or are reportedly considering one include HomeAway, Active Network, Skype and Trulia.