Angie's List

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Angie's List, Inc.
Type of business Public
Traded as NASDAQANGI
Founded 1995
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana
Founder(s) William S. Oesterle, Angie Hicks
Key people Thomas R. Evans, Chairman[1]
Scott Durchslag, CEO
Angie Hicks, CMO[2]
Industry Internet
Services Online marketplace, Review site
Revenue Increase US$344.125 million (2015)[3]
Operating income Increase US$13.258 million (2015)[3]
Net income Increase US$ 10.243 million (2015)[3]
Website www.angieslist.com

Angie's List is a US-based website containing crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses. For the quarter ending on June 30, 2016, Angie's List reported total revenue of US$83,000,000 and a net income of US$4,797,000.[4]

In July 2016, the company changed its memberships so that the basic tier, which includes access to more than 10 million reviews, is free.[5]

History[edit]

William S. Oesterle and Angie Hicks founded Angie's List in 1995. The idea resulted from Hicks's search for a reliable construction contractor in suburban Columbus, Ohio, on behalf of Oesterle, a venture capitalist who was Hicks's boss. Hicks moved to Columbus to join Oesterle in creating Columbus Neighbors, a call-in service and publication with reviews of local home and lawn care services. The name and concept were based on Unified Neighbors in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hicks went door-to-door, signing up consumers as members and collecting ratings of local contractors.

After Hicks recruited over 1,000 members in Columbus within one year, she turned to Oesterle to raise money from investors to develop the business.[6] In 1996, the company bought Unified Neighbors from its creator and moved the company's headquarters to Indianapolis.

By 1999, the database of local services and reviews was moved to the Internet. In the following years, the customer base and business relationships grew throughout the United States, while expanding coverage to include additional services, such as health care and auto care.

In 2013, Angie's List had over 70,000 subscribers. In August 2015, it reported 3.2 million paid members.[7]

Ratings methodology[edit]

Angie's List members grade companies using a report-card-style scale, which ranges from A to F; these ratings are based on the following criteria: price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality and professionalism.[8] Each company has its own page, which is composed of a description of its business along with the customer reviews. The aggregate grade is drawn from the combined reviews and grades given to the businesses from the consumers.

Criticism[edit]

Answering a complaint from a user, David Segal found that when subscribers post a negative review of a company to Angie's List, a staff member discusses it with them in an attempt to rectify the situation.[9]

Litigation[edit]

According to The Washington Post, in March 2007 SCS Contracting Group sued Angie's List and two members for libel because of negative reviews of the company. One of the sued members remarked, "if [contractors are] able to sue, then the value of Angie's List depreciates.... People aren't going to be willing to submit reviews if they could be threatened with a lawsuit."[10] On October 7, 2008, the plaintiffs dismissed the complaint against the two members. Summary judgment was later granted in favor of all defendants.[11]

In 2014, Angie's List Inc. paid $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it automatically renewed members at a higher rate than they were led to believe.[12]

In August 2016, Angie’s List has agreed to settle three lawsuits for a payment of $1,400,000. The class action lawsuits focused on Angie’s List’s acceptance of advertising payments from service providers, and whether those payments affect service providers’ letter-grade ratings, reviews, and place in search-result rankings. Angie’s List denies plaintiffs’ claims, but disclosed that revenue from service providers can affect the order of search-result rankings of the service provider under certain settings. Moore vs. AngiesList.[13]

Financial information[edit]

In 2010, Angie's List raised a total of $25 million in capital from investors. In September 2010, Wasatch Funds and Battery Ventures invested $22 million.[14] In November 2010, Saints Capital led an additional funding of $2.5 million.[15]

On November 17, 2011, Angie's List began trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol ANGI. It priced 8.8M shares at $13 and opened for trading at $18, a 33% premium.[16]

Shares have remained below $13 since March 2014.[17] Before 2015, the company has been dependent on capital infusions from investors to stay afloat. Angie's List had its first profitable year since founding in 1995 in 2015.[18]

In 2013, investors worried that the company had been in business for more than 18 years, yet never had shown an annual profit, and that valuations of the company were unrealistic based on the actual revenue the company produces.[19] But by 2015 growth estimates indicate a significant earnings-per-share growth, with a long-term growth rate at 19%. Combine this with stock estimates rising in 2015 by 13.3%, some Securities research firms such as Zacks Investment Research are indicating ANGI is well-positioned for future earnings growth.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Angie's List Elects Thomas R. Evans as Chairman of the Board". The Street. October 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ McGowan, Dan (September 8, 2015). "Angie's List Hires CEO with Big Name Credentials". Inside Indiana Business. 
  3. ^ a b c [1], Yahoo Finance
  4. ^ [2], Yahoo Finance, August 23, 2016
  5. ^ Mercado, Darla (July 13, 2016). "Need a plumber? Angie's List reviews are now free". CNBC. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ Evans, Teri (October 6, 2010). "No Free Stuff Here: At Angie's List, Members Pay". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ Kopytoff, Verne. "Angie's List names former Best Buy executive as CEO". fortune.com. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ Schein, Amy. "Brownstone Publishing, LLC". Hoovers.com. Hoovers. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  9. ^ David Segal (December 21, 2013). "A Complaint Registered, Then Expunged". The New York Times. p. BU3. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Kelly, John (March 13, 2007). "Homeowner's Web Gripe Draws Contractor Lawsuit". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ "Stephen C. Sieber v. Brownstone Publishing Co." (PDF). Theiceloop.com. October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Angie's List to pay $2.8M in membership-fee settlement". Ibl.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Moore v. Angie's List - Home". www.moorevalsettlement.com. Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  14. ^ Merino, Faith (September 21, 2010). "Angie's List strikes big with $22M". VatorNews. 
  15. ^ Merino, Faith (November 11, 2010). "Angie's List raises $2.5M adding to $22.5M". VatorNews. 
  16. ^ "Angie's List gains 25% in IPO". CNN. November 17, 2011. 
  17. ^ Public Record, NASDAQ
  18. ^ "Angie's List reports first profitable year in company history". February 23, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Angie's List: Worth $9 Based On Expected Lifetime Member Value In 2015". Seekingalpha.com. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Why Angie's List (ANGI) Could Be an Impressive Growth Stock". zacks.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 

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