Real estate website Zillow.com has acquired the San Francisco-based rival HotPads for $16 million in cash, TechCrunch reported. The deal, Zillow’s first bid for a “consumer-facing” site, will close next quarter if all goes as planned.
With the purchase, Zillow hopes to “expand the size of its growing rental audience,” the company said. HotPads launched in 2005, focusing on rentals, but has since expanded to include home sales and vacation home rentals and sales.
HotPads, with its 19 employees, will continue to operate in San Francisco under the new ownership, according to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.
This latest acquisition, one in a flurry of bids for competitors and related companies, is part of Zillow’s larger plan to expand its presence in the rental space and broaden its appeal to a larger number of real estate consumers.
“HotPads has a younger, complementary and rental-focused audience,” Rascoff said in a statement. “Now Zillow will become even more relevant to consumers at the beginning of their real estate life cycle.” [TechCrunch] –Guelda Voien