#Asia News Corp Australia buys 25% stake in home improvement site hipages


The home improvement jobs portal will use the funds for growth, marketing and development efforts

The hipages team

The hipages team

Media conglomerate News Corp Australia has announced its investment in hipages for a 25 per cent stake. The amount was not disclosed.

Launched in 2004, hipages is a home improvement jobs portal that claims to have more than 65,000 “verified tradespeople” on its platform, including plumbers, electricians, painters and builders.

It also claims to help these people “get access to AUD1.35 billion worth of jobs generated annually”.  That’s about US$986 million.

hipages will be using the new funds for growth, and to boost its product development and marketing efforts. The Australian firm intends to create a stronger brand to attract and retain jobseekers and businesses to list on its website.

Co-founders Robert Sharon-Zipser and David Vitek

L-R: Co-founders Robert Sharon-Zipser and David Vitek

In a statement, David Vitek, Co-founder and CEO, hipages, talked about hipages’ humble beginnings.

He said, “hipages has come a long way from a small garage in 2004, to employing 200 people today. While we’re very proud of the growth we’ve had so far, we know hipages is just getting started.”

He added that there is still potential for growth despite Australia being a mature market when it comes to finding a job online.

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“People love having a faster, better way to find the best tradie for any job they need done. But the real competition is that too many Australians still aren’t aware that there’s a better way to do this,” said Vitek.

Peter Tonagh, CEO, News Corp Australia, said that the media outlet is hoping to “further develop and grow the property and home services category” in the country.

Some of the tradies on the website

Some of the tradies on the website

hipages has raised AUD12 million so far, which is made up of an AUD6 million round in May 2014 from Right Click Capital, Ellerston Capital and Australian Ethical Investment, and another AUD6 million in June 2015 from existing investors, along with Kestrel Capital.

The post News Corp Australia buys 25% stake in home improvement site hipages appeared first on e27.

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