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As Redfin IPO leaps 44 percent

0 July 30, 2017 in Farah News by noura

As Redfin IPO leaps 44 percent

SEATTLE – Redfin, the Seattle-based real estate and technology company, made its initial public offering on Friday and saw its stock rocket up.

Trading under the RDFN ticker on Nasdaq, the stock soared nearly 45 percent.

Redfin priced its stock late Thursday at $15 per share – higher than the expected $12-$14 range – and sold about 9.2 million shares, raising roughly $138 million before opening. That helped push the company's market cap to $1.2 billion.

On Friday, the stock closed at $20.70 per share, raising the market cap to about $1.73 billon.

Redfin has its feet in two main markets: It has agents selling homes, putting it in competition with traditional brokerages. It also provides detailed real estate information online, going toe-to-toe with Seattle-based juggernaut Zillow and other sites.

Its website is popular, but unlike other internet startups that have overthrown traditional businesses, Redfin is far from upending the real estate industry.

As a brokerage, Redfin's main advantage is its prices: It charges only 1 to 1.5 percent commissions on home sales, about half the traditional 3 percent cut taken by most realtors. But even on its home turf, Redfin last year sold only 4 percent of homes in the Seattle area's King County, making it the sixth-most popular brokerage here, according to a Trendgraphix analysis of sales data. Nationwide, it sells just 0.6 percent of U.S. homes, up from 0.5 percent a year prior.

As an information site, Redfin has gained much more ground. It attracted 20.2 million unique users in June, the third most in the country and up 46 percent from a year ago, according to comScore. But it's still way behind Zillow's suite of sites (88.8 million unique users last month) and the network (44.5 million).

Redfin has been expanding in recent years, moving into new markets and hiring more agents. Earlier this year, the company moved its 400 or so local employees into a new office space that is twice the size of its old headquarters.

The company has never made an annual profit. But its revenues have climbed more than 35 percent in each of the least three years. It posted a loss of $28.1 million on revenue of $59.9 million in the first quarter this year.

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