Real estate giant Zillow (s Z) made some big moves over the weekend. It acquired real estate search website StreetEasy for $50 million in cash, and applied for an additional 2.5 million shares of Class A Common Stock for “general corporate purposes,” including further acquisition of technologies.
StreetEasy has a strong reputation for its real estate offerings in New York City, letting renters and homeowners search listings by neighborhood and analyze prospective locations by distance to public transportation — key perks for anyone location-hunting in New York. While the features between StreetEasy and Zillow are strikingly similar, that neighborhood focus could help Zillow penetrate the tough metropolitan real estate game, where granular search and intimate knowledge of the city streets drive search queries.
“StreetEasy is an excellent strategic fit with Zillow, as we share a common goal: To help consumers become smarter about real estate by communicating comprehensive, unbiased information about apartments and homes,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a statement. “StreetEasy is an incredibly strong and recognized brand in New York City, and complements Zillow’s dominant and growing national brand. We’re delighted to welcome the enormously talented and knowledgeable StreetEasy team on board.”
Based on that language, it appears that StreetEasy will remain as a standalone brand — no doubt due to the word-of-mouth reputation in New York City that has led to 1.2 million monthly unique visitors.
Meanwhile, Zillow’s stock application indicates that the proceeds from new influx of shares could go towards acquiring further companies and technology — indicating that the real estate giant will continue to throw some cash around to remain at the top of the buying and rental market.