By Ari Levy and Serena Saitto
(BloombergBusinessweek)—Trulia Inc., an Internet startup focused on residential real estate, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) to manage its initial public offering, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The San Francisco-based company is likely to go public in the second half of this year and will be valued at less than $1 billion, said the people, who declined to be named because the talks are private. Trulia is also working with Class V Group’s Lise Buyer, who advises startups on IPOs, the people said.
Trulia, a rival to Zillow (Z) Inc., provides a search engine used by over 20 million people a month to look for homes in specific neighborhoods. It also offers reviews on local schools and crime rates. The company makes money through ads on the site and subscriptions that let real estate agents target users and get their listings featured prominently.
Trulia is capitalizing on the best stretch of Internet IPOs in more than a decade, with LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc. all going public in the past year. Trulia is following the lead of fellow real estate website Zillow, which went public in July and has since jumped 77 percent to a valuation of almost $1 billion. While Zillow has more revenue, Trulia is growing faster, the people said.
Ken Shuman, a spokesman for Trulia, declined to comment, as did JPMorgan representative Jennifer Zuccarelli and Deutsche Bank’s Duncan King. Buyer said she doesn’t disclose which companies she’s working with.
Trulia has been bolstering its executive ranks. In December, it hired Sean Aggarwal, former vice president of finance at EBay Inc.’s PayPal unit, as chief financial officer. The company also named former Imperva Inc. executive Scott Darling as general counsel. Early last year, it hired former Yahoo! Inc. executive Paul Levine as its operating chief.
Chief Executive Officer Pete Flint co-founded the company in 2005 with Sami Inkinen, Trulia’s president. Trulia has raised $33 million from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Fayez Sarofim & Co.
Trulia hasn’t disclosed its revenue or profit. Sales at Seattle-based Zillow, meanwhile, more than doubled last year to $66.1 million. It reported net income of $1.1 million, following a loss of $6.77 million the prior year.
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