Sep 20, 2007
SEATTLE, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading real estate Web site Zillow.com today announced a $30 million Series C round of funding led by global asset management firm Legg Mason Capital Management. The funds will support expansion of Zillow's staff of 155 employees, including a 20-person national advertising sales team. The capital also allows the company to fund an accelerated timetable of products and features for homeowners, buyers, sellers, real estate professionals and advertisers.
In just 18 months since its launch, Zillow.com has become one of the largest real estate Web sites in the country, with 4.4 million unique users in August 2007. Zillow provides data, information and community features around all homes -- more than 70 million -- not just those on the market today. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. homes have been searched on Zillow(1). In the past year, Zillow has launched a number of community features, with the Zillow community now making more than 25,000 contributions to the site every day, including Home Q&A, home and neighborhood photos, and homeowners claiming and updating their own home's page.
"Zillow has expanded the definition of real estate through innovations like Zestimate™ values, Make Me Move™ and Home Q&A. This new online category of homes and home marketplace information and community is a large opportunity against which we are well positioned," said Rich Barton, Zillow co-founder and CEO. "We are thrilled to have an investor of Legg Mason Capital Management's reputation and expertise support us in this endeavor."
"At Legg Mason Capital Management, we selectively invest in best of breed privately-held companies when we see a differentiated product, an attractive business model, a solid brand, and a proven management team running a company poised for extraordinary growth. We believe Zillow is well on its way towards becoming a market-leader in a huge, and untapped online category of online tools and information for homeowners," said Bill Miller, Chief Investment Officer at Legg Mason Capital Management.
In addition to Legg Mason Capital Management, all prior institutional investors participated in the funding round, including Benchmark Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures and PAR Capital. Zillow has raised a total of $87 million to date.
In addition to Zillow's traffic growth, the company has seen rapid use and engagement in its community features.
-- In the past year, more than one million U.S. homeowners and agents have "claimed" homes on the site, with most adding additional data such as updated home facts or remodel information.
-- More than 50,000 questions and answers have been asked about homes since April 2007, and Zillow Discussions has seen more than 40,000 contributions since the feature launched in July.
-- Currently 286,000 user-contributed listings are on the site, including homes for sale by agent, owner and Make Me Move.
-- Zillow's self-service local ad product, Zillow EZ Ads, now has more than 6,000 individual advertisers.
Zillow employs 155 employees and is headquartered in Seattle, with additional ad sales offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. For more information and commentary from the Zillow team, or to ask a question about the new features, visit the Zillow Blog at http://www.zillowblog.com/.
About Legg Mason Capital Management
Legg Mason Capital Management is one of America's leading equity managers. It manages assets for clients around the globe including: corporations, public funds, various government entities, endowments, foundations, and individual investors. Clients can invest through separately managed accounts, subadvised funds, and Legg Mason sponsored mutual funds. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Legg Mason Capital Management is recognized for its distinct value investment process and long history of outperforming clients' benchmarks.
Since 1982, with the introduction of Legg Mason Value Trust, Legg Mason Capital Management has distinguished itself by applying the principles of value investing. Today, it offers investors six equity capabilities: Value Equity, Mid-Cap, All Cap, Growth Equity, Opportunity, and American Leading Companies. Legg Mason Capital Management's investment team is comprised of investment professionals who provide portfolio management and equity analysis for $70.9 billion in separate account and pooled assets (as of 6/30/07).
Legg Mason Capital Management is a subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM).
Zillow.com is an online real estate community where homeowners, buyers, sellers, and real estate agents and professionals find and share vital information about homes, for free. Launched in early 2006 with Zestimate™ values and data on millions of U.S. homes, Zillow has since opened the site to community input, data and dialogue, including "Home Q&A." Zillow's goal is to help people become smarter about real estate -- what homes are worth, what's for sale, and what local experts have to say about real estate and individual homes. One of the most-visited real estate Web sites, Zillow was the only online company named by Advertising Age magazine to its 2006 "Marketing 50" list of the most powerful consumer brands. Zillow is headquartered in Seattle and has raised $87 million in funding.
Zillow.com, Zillow Zestimate and Make Me Move are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.
(1) 35.4 million American homes have been looked up on Zillow, meaning someone visited the property's individual Home Details Page. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2005 American Housing Survey, there are 91 million single family homes, condos and co-ops in the U.S.
CONTACT: Amy Bohutinsky of Zillow.com, +1-206-470-7139,
Web site: http://www.zillow.com/