Angie’s List losses continue to climb

November 1, 2011

The losses continue to mount for Indianapolis-based Angie’s List Inc., which hopes to raise $75 million in an initial public offering.

The provider of online consumer reviews reported Monday in its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the company lost $43.2 million through the first nine months of 2011, pushing total losses since 2006 to $160.6 million.

Its loss through Sept. 30 represents a 59-percent increase from the same time frame last year, when losses totaled $27.2 million.

Revenue through Sept. 30, however, grew 46 percent, to $62.6 million. And paid memberships climbed to more than 1 million, as Angie’s List increased the number of markets where it does business to 175.

The national advertising to support such growth isn’t cheap. The company spent $48 million on advertising through the first nine months of 2011, a 58-percent increase from the same period last year, the filing said.

“We have significantly increased our investment in member acquisition,” the company wrote in the filing. “If the revenue generated by new paid memberships differs significantly from our expectations, or if our membership acquisition costs or costs associated with servicing our members increase, we may not be able to recover our membership acquisition costs or generate profits from this investment.”

The company’s ability to become profitable has been a concern of market experts since Angie’s List announced its intention to go public in late August. It plans to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol ANGI.

Net proceeds from the IPO will be used to fund its advertising strategy and for general corporate purposes, the company said.

Angie's List said it plans to continue aggressively investing in national advertising to deepen its market penetration, particularly in New York City and Los Angeles. It also noted it is expanding into new categories. The company started by focusing on home improvement services, and now covers categories such as health and wellness services, and car restoration.
Its latest SEC filing does not provide a price at which company shares will be sold to raise the $75 million. No date has been set for the official offering, but the filing still indicates it will take place in 2011.

But it does give information on executive compensation. Angie’s List Chief Marketing Officer Angie Hicks earned a base salary in 2010 of $148,550, but her pay grew to nearly $4.2 million when including $3 million in stock awards and other compensation.

CEO and company co-founder Bill Oesterle earned a base salary of $254,995 last year and total compensation of $2 million when counting $1.4 million in stock awards and other compensation.

Oesterle and Hicks founded the company in Columbus, Ohio, in April 1995 as Brownstone Publishing LLC and moved it to Indianapolis in 1999. It is at 1030 E. Washington St.

Shortly before announcing its IPO in August, Angie’s List said it would spend $11.5 million to expand its four-block campus on Indianapolis’ near-east side to accommodate 500 new employees by 2015.The city of Indianapolis agreed to provide the company incentives worth about $7 million to help with the expansion.



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