Angi

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Angi
Founded1995
HeadquartersIndianapolis, Indiana
OwnerAngi Inc.
Founder(s)William S. Oesterle, Angie Hicks
Key peopleOisin Hanrahan, CEO[1]
Angie Hicks, CCO
IndustryContract marketplace
URLwww.angi.com

Angi (formerly Angie's List) is an American home services website owned by Angi Inc., a pubicly-traded subsidiary of IAC. Founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks and William S. Oesterle, it allows users to search for contractors to provide paid home improvement work.

The service was originally developed as a database of reviews for local services. Prior to July 2016, Angie's List was a subscription-based service, but shifted to a freemium model in July 2016. In 2017, the company was acquired by IAC and merged with HomeAdvisor.

History[edit]

Angie Hicks and William S. Oesterle 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.[2]

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.[3] In 1996, the company bought Unified Neighbors from its creator and moved the company's headquarters to Indianapolis.[4]

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 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.[5] In November 2010, Saints Capital led an additional funding of $2.5 million.[6]

On November 17, 2011, Angie's List went public on the Nasdaq.[7] 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.[8] 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 indicated ANGI was well-positioned for future earnings growth.[9]

Before 2015, the company had been dependent on capital infusions from investors to stay afloat. Angie's List had its first profitable year since its founding in 1995 in 2015.[10] In 2017, the company announced in a press release that they had 2 million subscribers in the year 2013.[11] In August 2015, it reported 3.2 million paid members.[12]

In July 2016, Angie's List was made a freemium service; the basic membership tier, which includes access to more than 10 million reviews, was made free, alongside subscription tiers offering additional functionality.[13][14] On May 2, 2017, IAC, owner of HomeAdvisor, announced that it had agreed to acquire Angie's List for $8.50 per-share, valuing the company at over $500 million. On October 1, 2017, the two companies were brought under the new parent company ANGI Homeservices Inc., retaining its ticker symbol and stock history.[13][15][16][17]

In March 2021, ANGI Homeservices announced that the company and Angie's List would be rebranded as Angi. CEO Oisin Hanrahan explained that despite its brand recognition, the name "Angie's List" was confusing to users as it did not reflect the service's current business model (which is now focused on connecting users to and booking contractors), and that the change was also intended to help emphasize its current ownership of HomeAdvisor and Handy. [18]

Criticism and controversies[edit]

A 2017 investigation by a Chicago news station found that many Local 'Angie's List Certified' contractors are unlicensed to do work.[19]

David Segal found that when subscribers post a negative review of a company to Angie's List, a staff member discusses it with the subscriber in an attempt to rectify the situation. After they "fix the problem" they will remove the complaint.[20]

Litigation[edit]

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."[21] On October 7, 2008, the plaintiffs dismissed the complaint against the two members. Summary judgment was later granted in favor of all defendants.[22]

In 2014, Angie's List paid $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it automatically renewed members at a higher rate than they were led to believe.[23]

In August 2016, Angie's List agreed to settle three lawsuits for a payment of $1.4 million. 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.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ANGI Homeservices Announced Leadership Change". Angi. February 24, 2021.
  2. ^ "Profile - Entrepreneurship - Harvard Business School". entrepreneurship.hbs.edu. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Evans, Teri (October 6, 2010). "No Free Stuff Here: At Angie's List, Members Pay". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  4. ^ "START UP TV SHOW". startup-usa.com. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Merino, Faith (September 21, 2010). "Angie's List strikes big with $22M". VatorNews.
  6. ^ Merino, Faith (November 11, 2010). "Angie's List raises $2.5M adding to $22.5M". VatorNews.
  7. ^ "Angie's List gains 25% in IPO". CNN. November 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Angie's List: Worth $9 Based On Expected Lifetime Member Value In 2015". Seekingalpha.com. October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Why Angie's List (ANGI) Could Be an Impressive Growth Stock". zacks.com. October 28, 2015. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  10. ^ "Angie's List reports first profitable year in company history". February 23, 2016.
  11. ^ Tamborello, Joe (January 16, 2017). "Angie's List boasts 5 million members, growth". Indianapolis Star.
  12. ^ Kopytoff, Verne. "Angie's List names former Best Buy executive as CEO". Fortune. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Golden-based HomeAdvisor completes purchase of Angie's List". Denver Post. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Mercado, Darla (July 13, 2016). "Need a plumber? Angie's List reviews are now free". CNBC. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "This is why analysts are through the roof on ANGI Homeservices". MarketWatch. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  16. ^ "Angie's List will merge with HomeAdvisor after finally accepting IAC's acquisition offer". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  17. ^ "Merger Proposal". ANGI Homeservices. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  18. ^ "Angie's List changes its name in a complete rebranding". CNN Business. March 17, 2021. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Rogers, Phil; Smyser, Katy; Copenhagen, Courtney (May 1, 2017). "Many Local 'Angie's List Certified' Contractors Unlicensed". NBC Chicago.
  20. ^ David Segal (December 21, 2013). "A Complaint Registered, Then Expunged". The New York Times. p. BU3. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  21. ^ Kelly, John (March 13, 2007). "Homeowner's Web Gripe Draws Contractor Lawsuit". Washington Post.
  22. ^ "Stephen C. Sieber v. Brownstone Publishing Co" (PDF). Theiceloop.com. October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 26, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  23. ^ "Angie's List to pay $2.8M in membership-fee settlement". Ibl.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  24. ^ "Moore v. Angie's List, Inc. Case No. 2:15-cv-01243 (E.D. Pa.) - Home". www.moorevalsettlement.com. Retrieved August 30, 2016.

External links[edit]