Zillow Group, the Seattle-based online real estate powerhouse, continues to gobble up the competition.
The company today announced that it is paying $13 million in cash to buy Naked Apartments, the largest rentals platform in New York City. It marks Zillow Group’s 11th acquisition, and its first since August 2015 when the company acquired Dotloop.
Zillow will continue to operate Naked Apartments as a unique brand — a strategy it has employed since forming Zillow Group following its blockbuster acquisition of Trulia. It becomes Zillow’s fifth consumer brand, and it will operate alongside New York’s StreetEasy offering.
The company offers tools to renters and landlords to make the rental process more efficient in New York, a city where 70 percent of the population rents.
“Naked Apartments is a natural strategic fit with StreetEasy and Zillow Group in New York. We all share the common goal of using data, tools and technology to bring transparency and ease to New York City’s complex real estate landscape,” said Susan Daimler, StreetEasy general manager and vice president of Zillow Group New York. “Naked Apartments is a strong brand that is pushing the innovation boundaries to help renters find a home quickly and easily, which complements our mission at StreetEasy.”
In an interview with GeekWire earlier this week at the Zillow headquarters, CEO Spencer Rascoff indicated that the company is actively looking at new acquisitions.
“At any point in time, we probably have 10 possible acquisitions that we are at one stage or another of evaluation,” he said. “We look at hundreds of potential acquisitions a year.”
Asked if Zillow would attempt an acquisition of the size of Trulia — a deal that cost $2.5 billion and hit significant regulatory headwinds before its approval — Rascoff said that there aren’t many players in real estate that fit that mold. “If the right opportunity presented itself, yes, absolutely,” he said.
Naked Apartments employs 13 people, and they will join Zillow as part of the acquisition. Naked Apartments is led by CEO Joe Charat and CTO Jay Signorello, and they will join Zillow as part of the deal. Zillow Group now employs 2,300 people.
Shares of Zillow Group fell about two percent on the news, with the company now boasting a market value just over $3 billion.
Editor’s note: Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Zillow co-founders Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink will be the guests on this week’s GeekWire podcast, airing on KIRO 97.3 FM on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. You can also subscribe to the podcast here.