By all accounts this is a massive positive for the all the London-based angel investors and staff who had face in Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain.
This will hopefully provide a real success story for entrepreneurs and investors alike that tech investments do pay off.
In 2007/8, Zoopla started off making all the right noises, especially around fixing the pain points involved with searching for property online and the subscription based business model that made Rightmove so much money being inequitable.
However, their attempts at innovation were failed and they (probably rightly) copied Rightmove's product and business model and bought an audience by acquiring all the UK failing property portals. To say this was sheer genius is an understatement. It is a testament to Alex Chesterman as probably the most shrewd and capable businessperson in the UK. He has created value out of many failed businesses, and today returned significant capital to all those that believed in him.
The next question is what happens to Zoopla now the founders have begun to cash out (and no new capital is entering the business). Will Zoopla be able to grow against the dominance of Rightmove without any acquisitions, and will the threat of Agents' Mutual materialise.
There is one indicator that is mighty interesting: 80% of Zoopla's customers didn't take up the £500 bribe to put £2500 in the pockets if Alex Chesterman & Friends. Agents generally would do anything to make a quick buck.
Today is a story of success and reward. But tomorrow we're back to asking who will innovate in the online property space. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to be Zoopla, whose founders and investors will undoubtedly be distracted by celebrations of a job well done.
Read more here: http://techcitynews.com/2014/06/18/zoopla-to-ipo-at-over-1-5bn/