Aug. 19 - Zillow's purchase of StreetEasy could give it the lead in providing web-based information in New York City, the U.S.' largest real estate market. Fred Katayama reports.
It's a small but strategically significant purchase. Zillow is scooping up its tiny rival StreetEasy for $50 million in cash, that could give the giant real estate database site a lead in New York City over its other competitors, Trulia and Redfin. StreetEasy's listings have attracted 1.2 million users, and the 7-year-old startup lords over the country's largest real estate market with detailed listings that contain everything from apartment floorplans to recent closing prices. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said, "Simply put, StreetEasy has cracked the code in New York. ... StreetEasy is an incredibly strong and recognized brand in New York City and complements Zillow's dominant and growing national brand." Zillow, famous for providing estimates of how much homes are worth, saw its stock fall on the news. But its shares have more than tripled this year. Zillow plans to keep growing through acquisitions. Like Trulia, which applied for a $100 million stock offering to raise cash for future purchases, Zillow says it'll sell more common stock, worth roughly $220 million at today's prices.