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Home Depot snaps up service-quoting site Redbeacon

The home improvement retailer is adding more high tech services for its customers

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
January 20, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/23b8

 

Home Depot has been aggressively adding new technology to its home improvement retail business. Over the last few days, Home Depot has been rolling out a pilot system with PayPal for electronic payments and then late on Friday, the company announced that it was acquiring Redbeacon.

The amount of the deal was not publicly disclosed but it is clear what an advantage the Atlanta-based Home Depot could gain buy purchasing the service directory that helps users find contractors, roofers, painters and other people offering services on its site.

The San Mateo-based tech company has been receiving a lot of attention over the last year as Angie's List went public and Yelp plans to IPO in coming months.

Redbeacon allows service providers to advertise and display there business on the site for a fee (from the leads that they receive through it.)

Redbeacon is offered in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston.

With Home Depot now the owner of this quote-providing service, they can create tighter relationships with the people that are using their products in cities around the country. This coudl lead to better feedback, better advertising opportunies and the ability to push certain new products on those that use them most.

The iPhone app connected to Redbeacon’s allows users to select from common home service providers like handyman, electrician, or plumber to request for services and even factors in geo-loactions.

Redbeacon was created by former Googlers Aaron Lee, Ethan Anderson and Yaron Binur and has raised $7.4 million.

Redbeacon has worked to differentiate itself from Yelp and Angie's List, by aiding in bringing quotes to its users. In other words, if someone is looking for a maid, they can put in their parameters - how much they'd pay, how often they'd like to book the service, etc. - into Redbeacon and  receive a list of quotes from prospective service providers. On Yelp or Angie's List, a person has to get a list of service providers and make individual calls to each one. Redbeacon, essentially helps filter down that list.

Redbeacon's CEO, Anthony Rodio explained to VatorNews, in previous interview, how the different angles of service directories and suggestions sites had left room for a professional services site with on-demand quotes, and that's where his company was born.

"I look for opportunities where there's an unmet need," said Rodio, in an interview with Vator News. "I felt I wanted to do a marketplace model and something that has to do with local."

Redbeacon, which received $7 million in funding from Venrock and Mayfield just over a year ago, has a marketplace model that matches home service providers (maids, plumbers, landscapers) with consumers at a local level. "This is an area of acute pain," said Rodio. 

Rodio pointed to the lack of innovation in the area, particularly with Craigslist. "Craigslist is a bizarre jungle experience," Rodio said. "Now what consumers expect in services is very different than what they expected five to 10 years ago."

In a blog post Friday, Redbeacon looked at how the new retail giant would be able to mesh the company into its umbrella.

"The Home Depot is the perfect place for Redbeacon to achieve our vision even faster. Redbeacon and The Home Depot share many of the same core values around forward thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, excellent customer service, commitment to quality, and empowering pros and homeowners," the blog read. "We are excited about working with The Home Depot and continuing to improve the way consumers find and book home services together."

The Home Depot statement announcing the acquisition was very brief and only pointed out that the Redbeacon team would remain in San Mateo.

Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer with more than 2,000 retail stores worldwide. In fiscal 2010, Home Depot had sales of $68.0 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $3.3 billion. The company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock ( NYSE: HD ) was trading late on Friday at $44.51.

Neither company was immediately available for comment.


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