The Real Deal New York

Zillow to acquire Naked Apartments for $13M

Rental platform will complement StreetEasy’s sales focus

February 03, 2016 09:51AM
By E.B. Solomont


From left: Spencer Rascoff and Naked Apartments’ Joe Charat and Jay Signorello

In a move that will boost its presence in New York City, Seattle-based Zillow Group said today that it agreed to buy the rental platform Naked Apartments for $13 million in cash.

The deal, which is expected to close in the next few weeks, gives Zillow a second brand in New York City along with StreetEasy, which the real estate giant acquired for $50 million in 2013.

With Naked Apartments, a platform that connects nestseekers with brokers and landlords, Zillow is gaining a hyper-local rental database to complement StreetEasy’s sales focus. The deal is “natural strategic fit” for both StreetEasy and Zillow, Susan Daimler, StreetEasy’s general manager and vice president of Zillow Group New York, said in a statement. She said Zillow would continue to grow both brands “under one roof.”

Naked Apartments, which calls itself the city’s largest rental-only platform, lists available apartments along with subway information, market data and agent reviews. In 2013, Naked Apartments launched “Showings on Demand,” a feature that allows renters schedule an apartment viewing with the tap of a button.

Co-founded by CEO Joe Charat and CTO Jay Signorello, Naked Apartments launched in 2010 with 13,000 listings. Following the acquisition, Charat will lead the company as general manager and Signorello will remain CTO.

The acquisition by Zillow “will give us the resources to innovate faster, to grow and expand our business,” Charat said in a statement.

Zillow has made at least nine acquisitions over its 10 years in business, including HotPads ($16 million in 2012), StreetEasy ($50 million in 2013) and Trulia ($2.5 billion in 2015).

Zillow has made big financial gains in recent years. The company’s revenue jumped 13 percent year over year to $176.8 million during the third quarter, the most recent reporting period. In fiscal 2014, revenue increased a whopping 65 percent to $325.9 million.