VC-Backed Trulia Seeks Bankers for 2012 IPO: Sources

Trulia, the highly addictive property browsing website, wants to follow competitor Zillow onto the public markets early next year, according to sources familiar with the situation.

It is not clear when the company will file its S-1, or what the size of the offering will be, or at precisely what valuation. The company has not yet hired bankers to go public, sources acknowledge, but it does not plan to conduct an additional venture fundraising round and is not engaging strategic bidders, the sources say, adding that Trulia is profitable.

A representative for the company declined to comment for this story.

Zillow (Nasdaq: Z) priced its shares at $20 apiece and saw them soar as high as $60 on its first day of trading, July 20. Its stock closed at $30.85 yesterday.

Trulia’s not just property porn (but one could get lost in there for hours, for that reason alone). The site also launched a property valuation vertical, and will build other add-on segments into the business, according to one source who spoke with peHUB and confirmed the company’s IPO ambitions.

The company’s earlier rounds, which included investors Kevin Hartz, Fayez Sarofim & Co., netted it approximately $8 million. In 2007, Trulia snagged a $10 million round led by Sequoia Capital and also included Accel Partners and Fayez Sarofim & Co. The next year, Trulia took in another $15 million in a round led by Menlo Park-based Deep Fork Capital, and again, including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Fayez Sarofim & Co. In all, Trulia has raised $33 million, according to its website.

In contrast, Zillow raised about $90 million in VC prior to its IPO, and HomeAway, a similar site, brought on hundreds of millions in investment capital that supported an M&A campaign prior to its IPO.

“We got to take a look and they [Trulia] are killing it,” said another source who met with Trulia earlier this year to discuss possible debt financing, which the company ultimately chose not to pursue.

It’s no secret that Trulia has plans to go public. It tipped its hand earlier this year when it hired ex-Yahoo executive Paul Levine as its chief operating officer. “Building an IPO-ready management team is our focus,” CEO Pete Flint said at the time. (Flint founded the company in 2005.)

Trulia acquired real estate data aggregator Movity earlier this year.