HomeAway Files for IPO Valued at as Much as $230 Million
HomeAway Inc., a vacation-rental website, filed to sell as much as $230 million worth of shares in an initial public offering, joining a resurgence in dot-com companies going public.
Morgan Stanley (MS) will lead the IPO, HomeAway said today in a regulatory filing. The company, which will trade under the ticker “AWAY,” also is working with Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)
HomeAway, a six-year-old company based in Austin, Texas, runs the largest online marketplace for vacation rentals. The company, facing mounting competition from sites such as Airbnb Inc., says it may use some of the IPO proceeds to acquire businesses and add product lines. HomeAway’s IPO is larger than the pending deals of two other Internet companies: LinkedIn Corp. and Pandora Media Inc.
“This is certainly one of the larger venture-backed IPOs to have filed in quite some time,” said Lise Buyer, principal of Class V Group, an IPO advisory firm in Palo Alto, California. “There’s clearly an appetite in the marketplace for solid new growth stories.”
HomeAway’s sales climbed 40 percent to $167.9 million last year, according to the filing. That helped the company narrow its net loss to $18.3 million, or 48 cents a share, from $25.8 million, or 70 cents, in 2009.
HomeAway has more than 540,000 rental listings in 120 countries, according to its website. Homeowners pay an annual fee of about $300 to list, and the site is free for renters. In addition to HomeAway.com, the company runs Vacation Rentals by Owner, or VRBO.com, and VacationRentals.com.
HomeAway raised about $500 million in private capital from Austin Ventures, also based in Austin, and Redpoint Ventures in Menlo Park, California, which first invested in HomeAway in 2005. Redpoint, along with Palo Alto, California-based Technology Crossover Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners, invested $250 million in 2008.
Last year, HomeAway bought Escapia Inc. and Instant Software Inc., providers of software for vacation rentals, which together represent almost 1,700 property-management customers, HomeAway said in October.
The IPO is likely to happen by June, two people familiar with the matter said last month. Pandora, an Internet-radio company, announced plans in February to raise $100 million in an IPO. LinkedIn, a business networking site, filed for an IPO in January that would raise as much as $175 million.
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