Skeptics and critics were easy to find when Seattle-based Zillow went public three years ago this week. David Menlow, president of IPOFinancial.com, told Reuters at the time of the July 2011 public offering that Zillow was “absolutely not worth” the valuation that it commanded on the first day of trading.
The stock was worth $651 million on its second day, coming in at $37 per share.
The stock is trading at $127.60 at a massive value of $5 billion.
No wonder CEO Spencer Rascoff and crew are having so much fun.
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) July 22, 2014
Arguments certainly can be made that Zillow — whose audience has grown to more than 80 million unique visitors per month on the back of acquisitions an ambitious advertising campaign — is not worth the hefty valuation that Wall Street attaches to it.
After all, the company last month surpassed the value of Realogy Holdings, the parent company of Century21, ERA, Sotheby’s and other real estate brands. (Realogy now holds the lead, just barely. It is valued at $5.57 billion).
Here’s what Rascoff told GeekWire back in July of 2011 when we asked him about the company’s valuation and the lack of revenue.
“I think investors are very hungry for companies with Zillow’s growth profile. Zillow is growing revenue at over 100 percent year-over-year. We are growing our consumer traffic at over 100 percent year-over-year. And companies with that kind of growth profile are very interesting to investors, particularly given the overall volatility in the overall market. Companies with high-growth profiles are very attractive.”
Here’s a look at Zillow’s stock over the past three years. Those who gave up on the company shortly after the IPO, certainly missed out.
But where do you think Zillow is headed next: Up? Down?