More cash for Zillowby
Mo' money, mo' money for the media's favorite online real estate startup, Zillow.com. $25 million this time, from Par Capital Management, which is led by an old investor in Expedia Inc., the online travel agency where Zillow CEO Rich Barton and most of his team made their bones. Not much word on what the money will do, just that it will go into product development.
As noted previously, Zillow's main product is an automated home-appraisal engine that still needs fine-tuning. Time will tell whether its issues are anything more than standard-issue Version 1.0 software problems that get fixed all the time in software, usually over a short time. But interest in Zillow is white-hot because it's a combination of real estate, which everyone is interested in, and an executive team whose last company achieved a market cap of somewhere around $9 billion. The Seattle company now has 118 employees and has raised $57 million. Its business model calls for revenue and profits to come mostly from selling advertising to real estate and related companies.