EXCLUSIVE Home remodeling platform Houzz hires Goldman for IPO -sources

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Houzz Inc, the U.S. online home remodeling platform that capitalized on the boom in renovations during the COVID-19 pandemic, has hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to prepare for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.

Houzz is aiming to go public early next year, the sources said. The Palo Alto, California-based company was last valued at about $4 billion in a private funding round led by ICONIQ Capital in 2017.

The sources cautioned that the timing of the IPO is subject to market conditions. They asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Houzz and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Founded in 2009 by Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, Houzz operates a marketplace that is used by home renovation professionals to find home remodeling and improvement projects. It offers subscriptions for those projects, and also sells furniture using third-party sellers.

Houzz is among a spate of internet companies that benefited from people staying at home during the pandemic and shopping online. Pinterest Inc (PINS.N) has attracted the acquisition interest of PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O), which made a $45 billion offer for the online scrapbook and photo-sharing website, sources said on Wednesday. read more

To be sure, a Houzz IPO could face headwinds, as more people return to the office as the pandemic subsides, while soaring inflation makes remodeling more expensive.

Houzz was forced to lay off 10% of its staff at the onset of the pandemic, citing the impact on small businesses in the home renovation sector that form its core paid-user base. Its business later boomed as more users turned to it.

Houzz, which has raised over $650 million in funding to date, counts the likes of Sequoia Capital, New Enterprise Associates, GGV Capital and DST Global among its prominent backers.

Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu in New York; editing by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Anirban Sen is the Editor in Charge for U.S. M&A at Reuters in New York, where he leads the coverage of the biggest deals. After starting with Reuters in Bangalore in 2009, Anirban left in 2013 to work as a technology deals reporter in several leading business news outlets in India, including The Economic Times and Mint. Anirban rejoined Reuters in 2019 as Editor in Charge, Finance to lead a team of reporters, covering everything from investment banking to venture capital. Anirban holds a history degree from Jadavpur University and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media. Contact:+1 (646) 705 9409

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Krystal reports on venture capital and startups for Reuters. She covers Silicon Valley and beyond through the lens of money and characters, with a focus on growth-stage startups, tech investments and AI. She has previously covered M&A for Reuters, breaking stories on Trump's SPAC and Elon Musk's Twitter financing. Previously, she reported on Amazon for Yahoo Finance, and her investigation of the company's retail practice was cited by lawmakers in Congress. Krystal started a career in journalism by writing about tech and politics in China. She has a master's degree from New York University, and enjoys a scoop of Matcha ice cream as much as getting a scoop at work.