Zillow Inc. is reportedly one step closer to becoming a publicly traded company, having hired Citigroup Inc. to handle an initial public offering, Bloomberg reported, citing three anonymous sources "with knowledge of the company’s plans."

Citigroup Inc. will help Zillow file a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and sell its shares to the public, Bloomberg said, but the timing of the filing is unknown.

Zillow, which gathers data on millions of properties from public records and other sources including multiple listing services and brokerages, uses computer algorithms to estimate property values and rents.

Advertisers include real estate agents, mortgage originators, and others offering services to homebuyers, sellers and renters.

Zillow Inc. is reportedly one step closer to becoming a publicly traded company, having hired Citigroup Inc. to handle an initial public offering, Bloomberg reported, citing three anonymous sources "with knowledge of the company’s plans."

Citigroup Inc. will help Zillow file a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and sell its shares to the public, Bloomberg said, but the timing of the filing is unknown.

Zillow, which gathers data on millions of properties from public records and other sources including multiple listing services and brokerages, uses computer algorithms to estimate property values and rents.

Advertisers include real estate agents, mortgage originators, and others offering services to homebuyers, sellers and renters.

Last month, Zillow said it had begun feeding for-sale listings to Yahoo Real Estate and selling advertising on both sites, under the terms of an agreement announced in July.

Zillow has raised $87 million from outside investors in three rounds of financing, most recently raising $30 million in 2007 in a Series C financing led by Legg Mason Capital. At the time, Zillow was valued at $400 million, Bloomberg said.

Although the housing crash and recession derailed many companies’ plans to go public, IPO activity is picking up as the economy recovers.

Austin, Texas-based vacation real estate company HomeAway Inc. is planning to raise as much as $230 million in an initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing.

Other companies that have recently submitted filings announcing IPO plans include online radio company Pandora and online networking site LinkedIn.

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