Seattle-based Redfin, a popular online real estate listings site, has filed for IPO the company hopes will generate $100 million. According to a CNBC report, Goldman Sachs is leading the IPO for the company, whose products include a mobile app to schedule home tours and provide real estate listings.
Redfin charges customers a commission to list their homes, according to its website. It generated a loss of $22.5 million on $267.2 million of revenue in 2016, according to the filing.
Unlike Zillow and Trulia, Redfin actually employs agents to sell properties and it charges a lower-than-industry-standard 1.5 percent listing fee.
In its prospectus, Redfin differentiates itself from other tech companies that use only the internet and mobile apps to connect consumers with businesses, the company said in the filing.
“In an age when the technology economy is increasingly divided from the rest of the world. We have hired our own real estate agents, not as a disposable labor force, but as partners in this business, with a salary, health-care benefits and the opportunity to earn stock options.”
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told CNBC earlier this year that the company’s sales were being limited by historically low inventories of homes.
“We’re going to be fine in terms of market share, but I think the overall industry for the first time is seeing sales volume really limited by the inventory crunch.”
According to the filing, the company’s total number of real estate transactions are on the rise: 35,350 in 2016, compared to 27,492 in 2015.
Redfin was founded back in 2004, and has been backed by notable investors such as Madrona Ventures, Greylock Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and T. Rowe Price. The company says it has helped customers buy 75,000 homes, worth than $40 billion in total, through 2016.
Zillow, which like Redfin is also based in Seattle, is probably the company’s chief rival. Zillow’s revenues are around three times that of its rival and that company is valued at around $9 billion.
As Redfin prepares to go public, it is making in-roads in the nation’s most unique and expensive real estate market: Manhattan. Last month, Redfin added Manhattan listings through the Real Estate Board of New York, a company spokesman said.
Dolly Lenz, a veteran New York broker and founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate, suggested that some of that money generated from the IPO could be used to help the company gain a greater share of the market in Manhattan and New York as a whole.