Friday, 17 August 2012

Trulia Goes After Zillow’s Real Estate, Files $75M IPO; Now Has 22M Monthly Users

Trulia, the online real estate listings giant, has now publicly filed an IPO of up to $75 million — effectively confirming reports from the end of July that the company had already filed for an IPO privately. The company’s S-1 also provides an update on the state of the business, showing some encouraging signs of user growth, but declining revenues and growing losses, too. It says that as of June 30, 2012, it has 22 million monthly unique visitors, up from 5 million in June 2009; and paid subscribers — its primary source of revenue — have also grown massively. They’re now at 21,544 versus 2,398 two years ago. But not all numbers are going up: revenues in the last six months actually dipped compared to last year: $29 million today versus $38.5 million a year ago. Meanwhile, net losses are growing: they’re now at $7.6 million ($6.2 million last year). Trulia, which has picked up $33 million in VC backing, is looking to public markets to raise significantly more money to better compete against its bigger rival Zillow. Its $29 million in revenues for six months puts Trulia at about half the size of Zillow at the moment in terms of sales. The latter company reported in Q2 that it had sales of $27.8 million for the quarter. It also has 33.5 million monthly unique users at the moment. Both companies, which offer listings but lots of new technology to better search those listings, are going after a market that has been in the doldrums for the last couple of years. In Trulia’s case, it offers mobile apps and supplements listings data with local information on schools, crime, and neighborhood amenities to provide unique insights into each community, as well as a social media bent, letting users contribute local information. It says it’s had 5 million unique user contributions to date. The private filing at the end of July is possible because of a provision in the JOBs Act, which lets companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to file without listing publicly with the SEC. Reuters points out that this lets the companies “sidestep” some reporting requirements. It also means that companies can avoid scrutiny if they decide to withdraw the IPO. Seems that Trulia got the all-clear internally and with its financial advisors, which include JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank; hence the public filing today. More to come.

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