Zillow Hires Citigroup, Preps for IPO

citi logoBloomberg reported this morning that Zillow hired Citigroup to manage its IPO:

Zillow Inc., an online real-estate information service, has hired Citigroup Inc. to manage its initial public offering, three people with knowledge of the company’s plans said.

The exact timing of an IPO filing from the Seattle-based company wasn’t provided by the people, who declined to be identified because the plans are private. Companies planning to sell shares to the public hire banks before filing a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

There’s no S-1 out there so we don’t know what Zillow’s revenues are. The company has raised almost $90 million to date. I suspect it will be a successful offering, although not as sexy to investors or the public as Zynga or Groupon.

What’s amazing about Zillow is that it was former CEO Rich Barton’s big idea (property valuations for every home in the US) supported by big VC money and then incrementally improved over time. The data they had was almost completely unique and those valuations, however flawed, immediately captured the collective imagination as well as our financially voyeuristic impulses.

Zillow was a success almost from day one. The execution has been extremely effective.

According to Hitwise Zillow is (this week) the number two US real estate website. But its reach also includes Yahoo Real Estate, for whom it’s providing most of the content now. Effectively then the “Zillow network” has greater reach than any other US real estate site.

 

Zillow competitor Trulia is also on track to go public. Here’s a comparison of the top competitors on Compete:

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3 Responses to “Zillow Hires Citigroup, Preps for IPO”

  1. Jozef Foerch says at

    I miss the simplicity of Google’s Real Estate Search…..Zillow seems to run sluggishly and is very skittish about pulling up the data I need to see. It just seems like their servers are always swamped with requests and it has problems with displaying the info you are looking for quickly.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    Well . . . for better or worse Google got out of the business.

  3. Robert says at

    I’m interested to know exactly what realtors think of the site. I have zillow on my phone and love it, but I’ve had multiple realtor friends tell me that it is nothing but a novelty. The biggest complaint is that the data is highly inaccurate — in short that they find the data that is supposed to be pulling from MLS is usually off by two weeks or more (and this is being said of the other popular sites too – including trulia and such). An example would be calling on a listing for a client only to find that it was already sold. Again, as a consumer I love it. But what the pros think is important because the reality is that the general public will not use it for anything other than general research. If the critiques prove true, then in essence zillow and like sites are noting more than outdated public API-pulls and interfaces for MLS. Thoughts?

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