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Zillow Group bolsters New York real estate business, buys Naked Apartments

Grows NYC operations beyond StreetEasy

Zillow Group, the parent company for online real estate portals Zillow and Trulia, is growing its operations in New York City with the acquisition of Naked Apartments, which bills itself as “New York City's largest rentals-only platform.”

According to Zillow, the acquisition of Naked Apartments will bring its total number of consumer brands to five, with Naked Apartments joining StreetEasy as the second NYC brand for Zillow.

Zillow purchased StreetEasy, a NYC-focused property portal, in 2013 for $50 million.

The purchase price for Naked Apartments will be $13 million, funded with cash on hand, Zillow said in a release.

“This acquisition reinforces Zillow Group's commitment to providing buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals with New York City-centric tools and information that make their lives easier,” Zillow said in a release.

Naked Apartments is “dedicated to simplifying the rental process” for renters, brokers and landlords in New York City, where, according to Zillow-provided data, approximately 70% of the population rents their home.

Naked Apartments’ comprehensive database of for-rent listings across the five boroughs is bolstered by unique tools on web and mobile that provide timesaving ways for renters to find apartments and connect with real estate professionals, Zillow said in a release.

Naked Apartments launched in 2010 and has 13 employees.

Under the terms of agreement, Naked Apartments’ CEO, Joe Charat, and chief technical officer, Jay Signorello, will continue to lead the company after the transaction is completed, Charat operating as general manager and Signorello continuing as CTO.

"Naked Apartments is a natural strategic fit with StreetEasy and Zillow Group in New York,” said Susan Daimler, StreetEasy general manager and vice president of Zillow Group New York.

“We all share the common goal of using data, tools and technology to bring transparency and ease to New York City's complex real estate landscape," Daimler said.

"Naked Apartments is a strong brand that is pushing the innovation boundaries to help renters find a home quickly and easily, which complements our mission at StreetEasy,” Daimler added. “Continuing to grow both brands under one roof will allow us to combine our knowledge of the unique New York City rental and sales markets to put even better tools and information in the hands of consumers. We couldn't be more excited to welcome the enormously talented Naked Apartments team on board."

In its release, Zillow Group said that by being part of the Zillow family of companies, Naked Apartments will now have the resources to further invest in product development and grow its audience, while extending Zillow Group's “hyper-local market leadership” in one of the “largest and most important” real estate markets in the world.

"Major markets require a truly localized product and no other site is more focused on New York rentals than Naked Apartments,” Charat said.

“StreetEasy shares this laser-focused vision for New York City real estate, and shares a commitment to both transparency and innovation – values that are integral to our company," Charat continued. "We've always admired the StreetEasy team and the growth they've realized since joining Zillow Group and we're excited to now be joining forces with them. This move will give us the resources to innovate faster, to grow and expand our business, and to better serve our users."

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