Zillow.com finally launched in “beta test” mode yesterday with free home valuation estimates and data on over 60 million homes in the US.
This is the long awaited of often speculated about business started by Richard Barton, the founder of Expedia, the online travel giant. Barton has raised over $32 million for Zillow to date.
Zillow’s business model is based on advertising, although I believe that will change to focus on lead generation along the lines of HouseValues and RealEstate.com once they reach critical mass.
The interface for Zillow is very easy to use, and real estate investors may find it of particular interest, allowing them to run quick comps to ballpark the value of a property before investigating further.