Regarding the Zillow.com IPO: “Since when is a seven year old company with really no large scale growth prospects that has lost money every single year on revenue less than $45 million/year worth half a billion dollars? Am I missing something?”
The question comes from a comment to a post at Seattle-based start-up blog, GeekWire. The news? Zillow.com is bumping the per-share price on its forthcoming IPO to as high as $18, up from the $12-$14 range it started with when the public offering was announced.
I like that question, because it parallels one of my own: What, precisely, can Zillow hope to do — other than provide big paydays for its VCs and founders — with $71 million in new funding? Which parts of the site will require that much build-out?
My take: The web-tech IPO craze that’s going on right now is just the next phase in the rape-the-rubes strategy Wall Street has pursued since internet start-ups came on the scene in the late ’90s. There is plenty of money to be made churning the stock of “businesses” that, in the end, all amount to MySpace.com — all hype, no actual value.
What’s the name for that phenomenon…? Oh, yes — a bubble.
The good news: Cynthia Pang Nowak, formerly Redfin.com’s queen-bee PR geek, is now signed on with Zillow. While she may be both the smartest and most breathtakingly beautiful woman on the Puget Sound, it remains to be seen if she can answer the BloodhoundBlog question: What would David Gibbons do?
Meanwhile, GeekWire.com deserves your daily attention. Run by Todd Bishop and John Cook, formerly the start-up reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a long-time friend of BloodhoundBlog, it’s kind of like TechCruch in the rain — but without the bluster and hyperbole. The daily email digest is quick way to keep up with the wired side of our world.
But: Am I all wet? Does Zillow.com look like a buy to you at $18? Can it go to $36? To $180? To $0.01? I like the people who work there, and the founders have been very good to us from the beginning. But I’ve never seen the value of Zillow.com, except as an advertising play, and I still don’t. As with the comment quoted above, am I missing something?Related posts: