HomeAdvisor locks up downtown location

Angie's List rival HomeAdvisor, which announced its Indianapolis expansion plans in December, has finalized a downtown location for its local office.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado-based company, which connects home services professionals and consumers, told IBJ this week that the company secured 7,000 square feet on the second floor of the One Virginia Avenue building, which is home to Noble Romans Inc.'s corporate headquarters and a Scotty's Brewhouse restaurant.

The office is slated to open in March with 30 salespeople and additional room for another 40 employees when needed. Company sales manager Tom Cheatham will lead the local office, officials said.

HomeAdvisor's expansion here comes in the wake of its parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp offering to purchase Angie's List for $512 million last November. Angie's List spurned the offer, saying it "dramatically undervalues the company," and has pressed on with initiatives to grow shareholder value organically—including hiring the branding agency behind Progressive Insurance's Flo character.

IAC has not made another acquisition offer.

While Angie's List and HomeAdvisor are fierce competitors, their business models are hardly alike. HomeAdvisor is free to consumers, but it charges service providers an annual subscription to be part of its screened network of professionals.

Service providers need not pay anything to be seen on Angie's List, but many sign contracts with the company for the ability to advertise and sell pre-packaged service offerings to Angie's paying members.

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