Auction.com announced a $50 million investment from Google Capital. As a result, one representative from Google Capital will join the company’s Board of Directors and another will take a board observer position.
“Auction.com has quietly built one of the largest marketplaces on the web,” said David Lawee, Partner at Google Capital.
“We think Auction.com can fundamentally change how real estate, and particularly commercial real estate, can be bought and sold, leveling the playing field for smaller investors," Lawee added.
Google Capital adds its name to a list of shareholders in Auction.com including Starwood Capital Group, Starwood Property Trust and Stone Point Capital and funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group.
Auction.com annually handles tens of thousands of transactions across commercial and residential real estate for customers ranging from the largest financial institutions to individuals and brokers.
“Over $7 billion of commercial and residential real estate traded through our online marketplace in 2013, and we believe that having Google Capital’s support will help us expand our industry leadership, and carve out a bigger share of the global real estate market,” said Jeff Frieden, CEO and co-founder of Auction.com.
This is not the first time Google turned its attention to real estate. The web giant once launched an online mortgage-pricing tool with Mortech. And then, two years later, it took down its real estate listings.
"We recognize that there might be better, more effective ways to help people find local real estate information than the current feature makes possible," said Brian McClendon, vice president Google Earth and Maps at the time.
"We’ll continue to explore this area," he said.