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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Zillow buys Rent Juice, reports blowout quarter

To boost its new push into the rental marketplace, Zillow’s paying $40 million for Rent Juice, a San Francisco company that makes software that landlords use to manage their properties.

The deal follows Monday’s release of Zillow’s mobile application for searching rentals, which provides estimated rental values and search services.

Rentals are the latest segment of the real estate industry to which the Seattle company is extending its search, mapping, advertising and services business.

“The acquisition of RentJuice, with its talented team and innovative solutions for rental professionals, propels Zillow’s rental marketplace ahead by years,” Zillow Chief Executive Spencer Rascoff said in the release.

It’s the third acquisition for Seattle-based Zillow, which also today reported record earnings in the quarter that ended March 31. Its sales grew 103 percent to $22.8 million and profit swing to $1.7 million, up from an $800,000 loss during the same period last year.

Monthly unique users of Zillow increased 84 percent to 31.8 million during the quarter. Growth on mobile devices is especially strong, overtaking Zillow usage on the Web. In March 155 million homes were viewed on Zillow mobile apps, or 57 homes per second, the company said.

Rent Juice started in 2009 and has 31 employees. For prices starting at $59 per month, it sells subscription marketing services, including a mobile app that landlords can use to manage their listing database, update photos and interact with prospective tenants.

A spokeswoman said there are no current plans to relocate the Rent Juice team. Asked if any layoffs will result from the deal, she said via email that they’re planning on “status quo. No major changes.”

Comments | More in | Topics: digital media, mobile apps, real estate

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