On the surface, OpenTable may not seem to hold many similarities with Zillow. After all, one specializes in restaurants, and other in real estate. But Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff sees similarities between the two companies, telling Business Insider that those companies which simply provide leads to businesses are ripe for disintermediation.
In Rascoff’s view, OpenTable has figured out a way to provide more online tools to restaurants, expanding beyond its initial lead generation service.
“It provides everything from software to manage paid time off, to tip allocation, to frequent diner programs, to rewards programs for the diners, and so on,” said Rascoff, who also drew parallels between Zillow and LinkedIn.
“We’re trying to move to a world where agents wake up, roll out of bed, and pull out their tablet or PC and manage their day and their workflow based on the tools that Zillow provides to them,” Rascoff said in the Business Insider interview. That’s part of an ongoing strategy that Rascoff first laid out earlier this year, explaining some of the new online tools that the company is offering to real estate agents.
As I’ve noted in the past, that strategy is putting Zillow on a collision course with Kirkland-based Market Leader.
The OpenTable comparison was interesting to me, in part because Zillow already is nearly as big as the restaurant reservation service.
Zillow boasts a market value of $934 million, with fourth quarter revenue of $19.9 million. That was an 108 percent increase in revenue. (Zillow reports first quarter numbers May 2).
OpenTable, meanwhile, is valued at $996 million. Its last quarterly revenue haul stood at $37.2 million, an increase of 21 percent over the same period last year.
Later in the interview, Rascoff discusses Redfin — who he doesn’t view as a competitor — and San Francisco’s Trulia — simply noting that Zillow competes “with wherever our home shopper might get local real estate information.”
Rascoff also laid out why he thinks Zillow’s best times are ahead, noting that the company now has “less than 1 percent wallet share of what agents spend on advertising.”