news Tradie search site hipages.com.au this week announced it had secured $6 million in venture capital from a range of investors to expand its operations connecting Australians with small service providers in their area.
The site bills itself as the largest service-finding business in Australia specialising in home improvements, with just over one million visitors to the site each month. With a network of over 40,000 suppliers, hipages.com.au offers customers “streamlined access” to the best services and tradesmen in the industry. The company has a directory primarily consisting of builders, electricians and plumbers, for whom it finds 30,000 jobs per month for its 500,000 members. To ensure the quality of their service every tradie on the site is vetted and hipages.com.au continually collects customer feedback to ensure the service offers only reliable and efficient tradies.
The capital raising, which saw “strong demand across the board”, according to hipages.com.au, was managed by boutique technology-focused advisory firm Right Click Capital and brought new investors on to the register including Ellerston Capital, Australian Ethical Investment and KTM Capital. A representative from Ellerston and Right Click Capital will be joining the hipages Group board.
hipages.com.au attracts just over one million visitors each month and its network of over 40,000 tradies are connecting with 500,000 consumer members. It has been recognised by BRW as one of the “Best Places to Work” and “Most Innovative Companies” for several years running.
hipages Group co-founder and CEO David Vitek (pictured) said: “After 10 years of hard work growing the business, this $6 million vote of confidence from some of Australia’s most respected investment funds is validation that we have solved a real problem for consumers. Consumers post job requirements with us every 64 seconds and for each one we take them through the process of finding the best tradie for the job among our 40,000 suppliers.”
Co-founder and COO Robert Sharon-Zipser added: “Our aim is to be a household name across the 8.3 million homes in Australia. We have been growing revenue at an average of 30 percent per annum and this round of funding will allow us to accelerate our growth.”
Commenting on the hipages.com.au value proposition Ari Klinger, Partner, Right Click Capital said: “Hipages is an outstanding company that has reinvented the Yellow Pages into a trusted service network that solves one of the perennial issues for consumers – finding a good tradie. The significant demand for the deal including from some of Australia’s premier institutional investors is a strong validation of the management team, strategy and investment potential of the business.”
hipages.com.au isn’t a new web startup — from its statement, it’s been around for 10 years already. What this investment indicates, as we’ve seen with other similar investments in similarly aged web startups locally, is that they might have been a bit before their time, but are now hitting their straps in a new business and personal environment which is now all about making traditional industries more efficient via the Internet.
Congrats to the hipages.com.au guys, and we hope to see them expanding into other categories soon. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the company bought out by a company such as Telstra (with its Sensis advertising business — including the Yellow Pages) or even a publisher such as Fairfax — the sort of companies which hipages.com.au has been undercutting for some time now with its rival online offering ;) Hopefully at a premium valuation.
Image credit: hipages.com.au