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ANGI Homeservices buying Handy in effort to dominate home renovations

October 11, 2018

ANGI Homeservices Inc. has agreed to acquire Handy Technologies Inc., a New York-based startup offering on-demand access to cleaning maids or handymen for small tasks at a fixed price.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed in Thursday's announcement.

A unit of New York City-based IAC/InterActiveCorp., ANGI Homeservices has traditionally been focused on domestic repairs and renovations. Adding Handy will allow it to enter new territory by targeting small tasks appealing to millennial renters—who will soon become the biggest group of homebuyers in the United States, said ANGI Homeservices CEO Chris Terrill.

Handy offers instant access to pre-screened professionals for “the things you need done in your home that cost less than $500" -- like mounting a TV, assembling boxed furniture or installing an air conditioner, said CEO and co-founder Oisin Hanrahan in an interview.

The deal is the latest power play by internet conglomerate IAC/InterActive, which has an aggressive acquisition strategy in a myriad of online sectors, including dating and media. Its subsidiary Match Group Inc. has sucked up dozens of competing brands, and announced in June it was purchasing a controlling stake in Hinge.

What Match is to online dating, Golden, Colorado-based ANGI Homeservices is for the domestic improvement sector. Last year, after a two-year courtship, IAC/InterActive bought Indianapolis-based Angie’s List and merged it with HomeAdvisor.com to create a dominant online marketplace for home renovations.

ANGI’s Terrill said earlier this week that he will step down as CEO at the end of this year, with chief product officer Brandon Ridenour taking over. ANGI Homeservices’ shares have gained 80 percent this year, compared with a 6.2 percent gain in the NASDAQ index. They closed down little changed at $18.88 each Thursday.

Handy, founded in 2012 with incubation support from the Harvard Innovation Lab, has partnered with retailers such as Walmart Inc. It will continue as a standalone business with its own website and mobile app, Hanrahan said. He will remain in his role as CEO.

It doesn’t matter to IAC or ANGI Homeservices which particular website or platform draws consumers in. “We don’t care where you come in; it’s where you end up," Terrill said. “If you get the help you need in your home, then we have won."

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