Zillow Files for IPO to Raise $57 Million

Seattle-based Zillow.com, a real estate information site, has filed its initial paperwork indicating that it is seeking to raise $57 million in an initial public offering.

The filing is a little surprising. While it was rumored that the company was talking to bankers, its nearest privately held competitor, Trulia, has been more vocal about its plans for an IPO, and presumably would have been the first to file.

In addition to Trulia, Zillow also competes against other start-ups and with Realtor.com, which is operated by publicly held Move.

In today’s filing with the SEC, Zillow discloses that it has seen significant revenue growth over the past three years. In 2010, its revenues totaled $30.5 million, jumping 74 percent over the previous year when it recorded revenues of $17.5 million.

However, the company’s losses continue to add up.

In 2010, it recorded a net loss of $6.8 million, narrowing significantly from the previous year when it recorded a loss of $12.9 million.

Zillow’s filing represents the latest in a string of Internet companies that have filed to go public. Also on the list is HomeAway, Pandora and LinkedIn.

Zillow’s prospectus is being underwritten by Citi, Allen & Company, Needham & Company, ThinkEquity and First Washington Corp.

The company said it had an average of 12.7 million unique users in the last three months of 2010, representing a 66 percent increase.

According to Hitwise, the top-visited real estate websites in March were Realtor.com with 6.5 percent market share, followed by Yahoo! Real Estate and Zillow.com, with 6.04 percent and 5.36 percent respectively. Trulia was listed fourth with 4.63 percent market share.

In addition to the funds it plans to raise from the IPO, it has received committments from Technology Crossover Ventures and PAR Investment Partners to purchase a total of $5.5 million in common stock at the same share price as the IPO.

Both the cash raised from the IPO and from the private placement will be used for general corporate purposes, including working capital, sales and marketing activities, general and administrative matters and capital expenditures. It may also use a portion for acquisitions.

The biggest shareholders in the company is Founder Richard Barton who holds 31.3 percent; Vice Chairman and President Lloyd Frink with 30.4 percent; Benchmark Capital with 19 percent and Technology Crossover Ventures with 29.9 percent.


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