Auction.com deal is the latest from Google Capital investment arm
Google has announced that it is investing $50m in property management marketplace Auction.com through its Google Capital investment arm.
The investment values Auction.com at $1.2bn. The company, which was only founded in 2007, handled over $7bn worth of property transactions on its site during 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Auction.com was recently voted as one of the leading technology companies in the US property market, thanks to its investment in developing an advanced marketplace platform that has helped it sell more than $20 billion in residential and commercial real estate since 2010.
Set up last year but only formally announced last month, Google Capital is the company’s attempt to establish a growth equity fund to support businesses which are growing strongly, and was given a $300m budget by the search engine giant. Its website says that the company looks to “invest in people who are passionate about the potential for technology to change how we live and are rapidly building the companies of tomorrow.”
The company is headed up by David Lawee but counts many senior Google executives as advisors. According to Lawee, Google Capital’s objective is to triple its money from each investment over the course of five to seven years. Before the Auction.com deal, the company had already invested in online platform SurveyMonkey, banking provider Lending Club and cloud-based education service Renaissance Learning.
It is distinct from Google’s Ventures team, which invests smaller amounts in early-stage companies which are just starting out, notably leading a $361.2 million investment in app maker Uber Technologies last August.
The Auction.com deal emphasises the news last month that Google has become the world’s most acquisitive company, with the 127 purchase or investment deals it oversaw in the last three years pushing it ahead of Intel and into top spot. Overall, the company’s deals over this period were valued at $17.6bn, with the company’s mergers and acquisitions group, led by Don Harrison since December 2012, expanding by 50 percent in the past two years, according to a company source.
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