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Zillow Joins The IPO Bandwagon

Top online real estate site Zillow has filed to go public. The company says in an SEC filing that it hopes to raise up to $51.75 million by selling its stock. The company joins a growing number of digital media related firms — including LinkedIn, Pandora, FriendFinder, ActiveNetwork and (as of today) Envivio — that are trying to take advantage of the rising stock market in order to go public.

Zillow, which generates revenue through the sale of display ads, as well as by charging real estate agents to promote themselves adjacent to listings on its site, reported $30.5 million in sales last year, up from $17.5 million in 2009. It posted a net loss of $6.7 million, down from $12.9 million during the prior year. The company announced a high-profile deal with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) last summer to power real estate listings on Yahoo Real Estate and has also partnered with dozens of newspapers to co-brand real estate pages on their sites.

The company says it will use the proceeds from the offering in part to “increase our financial flexibility” and “increase our visibility in the marketplace.” Zillow’s largest shareholders besides co-founders Richard Barton and Lloyd Frink, who together own more than 60 percent of the company’s stock, are Benchmark Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures.

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