January 26, 2017 / 7:52 PM / 8 months ago

Canada's Real Matters to go public as early as February - sources

TORONTO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Real Matters, a Canadian provider of real estate industry services, is looking to raise about C$150 million in an initial public offering that could come as early as next month, sources familiar with the process said.

The IPO is expected to value the company at about C$1 billion, according to the sources, who did not wish to be named because the matter is private. Real Matters is working with BMO Capital Markets on the IPO, and has not selected other investment banks at this point, the sources said.

Real Matters would be filing the first major Canadian technology IPO since e-commerce software maker Shopify Inc’s hugely successful offering in 2015.

Real Matters spokeswoman Lyne Fisher declined to comment about the IPO plans.

The company’s investors include Whitecap Venture Partners, Wellington Financial, and Urbana Corp, according to startup data provider CrunchBase Inc and public documents.

Founded in 2004, Markham, Ontario-based Real Matters uses proprietary software to offer data on real estate services such as appraisals, mortgage closings and title searches.

Its customers include more than 60 of the top 100 U.S. banks, including Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp.

Real Matters has been profitable since 2012, and it has increased revenue at an annual rate of about 50 percent for several years.

The vast majority of its revenue comes from appraisals, operating under the Solidifi brand in both the United States and Canada on behalf of mortgage lenders.

The company gets 95 percent of its revenue from the United States, where it connects lenders to a network of 100,000 independent appraisers, who verify the value of a home. In the past 18 months, Real Matters has entered into deals with the top six U.S. banks to offer appraisal services. (Reporting by John Tilak and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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