Bloomberg 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: