Angie’s List Inc., a website that provides consumer reviews of plumbers, electricians and other services, is preparing to file in August for an initial public offering, said two people with direct knowledge of the plans.
The Indianapolis-based company has chosen Bank of America Corp. to lead the IPO, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because the process is private. The size of the offering hasn’t yet been decided, one person said.
Angie’s List would join the biggest surge in Internet share sales since the dot-com boom a decade ago. A dozen Internet companies have gone public this year, the most in any year since 2000, when the first wave of Web IPOs reached its height. Selling shares would help Angie’s List compete against daily-deal and consumer-review websites, including Yelp Inc., Facebook Inc. and Groupon Inc.
Cheryl Reed, a spokeswoman for Angie’s List, declined to comment. John Yiannacopoulos, a spokesman for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, also had no comment.
Angie’s List hired Code Advisors last year to help it choose bankers, CEO Bill Oesterle said in an April interview. The company has turned down buyout offers from public companies, Oesterle said at the time.
This spring, Angie's List added management and board firepower likely intended to help win over investors should the company move ahead an IPO.
Silicon Valley startup veteran Keith Krach became chairman and Robert Millard became chief financial officer. Millard formerly was chief financial officer of local firms FinishMaster Inc. and Personnel Management Inc.
On the same day as those announcements, Oesterle confirmed the possibility of an IPO: “We are certainly reaching a size, and have opportunities in front of us that are causing us to consider very seriously a public offering. We could make that decision this year.”
Founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks and Oesterle, Angie’s List provides ratings and reviews to 1.5 million paying members for more than 500 types of businesses.
The company, which now has about 650 employees, continues to grow and is eyeing about 30 possible expansion sites.
In March, Angie’s List said it raised $53.6 million in a private share offering. Last year, Angie’s List said it raised $25 million from investors including venture firms Battery Ventures, Saints Capital and Wasatch Funds.
Online-radio service Pandora Media Inc. and professional- networking site LinkedIn Corp. have gone public in the past month. Several Indiana companies also appeared poised for IPOs.