Zillow IPO filing sheds light on company's past, future

Ad sales to real estate agents, mortgage lenders drive revenue growth

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Real estate listings and valuation site Zillow.com has racked up $78.7 million in losses since 2004, but the ads it sells to real estate agents and mortgage lenders have helped the company narrow its losses and nearly triple its revenue from 2008 and 2010, the company said in a regulatory filing in preparation for an initial public offering.

Zillow hopes to raise as much as $51.8 million in the IPO, and has already signed a lease on a new 66,000-square-foot headquarters in Seattle that the company plans to move into in August, the company said in a regulatory filing. The company, which employs 252, leases additional office space in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Zillow’s management "will have considerable discretion" in deciding how to spend the money the company raises in an IPO, the company said in an S-1 registration statement that reveals numerous details about the company’s past, along with its plans for the future.

The company said it will continued to boost sales and marketing activities, and "If appropriate opportunities arise, we may use a portion of these proceeds to acquire or invest in technologies, solutions or businesses that complement our business."