Google invests $50 million in online property broker Auction.com
By John Gittelsohn and Brian Womack
Google’s new investment arm is buying a minority stake in Auction.com, the largest U.S. online real estate auction firm, for $50 million.
The investment by Google Capital, which expects to spend about $300 million this year to back late-stage companies, is the first in a real estate venture for the unit of the Mountain View-based Internet search firm. The deal values Auction.com at $1.2 billion, the Irvine,-based company said Wednesday in a statement.
“Like eBay kind of drove transparency and created a marketplace for hard-to-find items, Auction.com is creating transparency in part of the real estate market,” David Lawee, head of Google Capital, founded last year, said in a telephone interview. “Here, you can go on to a site and see thousands of properties that are listed for sale that would be great investment opportunities.”