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Is Angie's List ready for its IPO?

Screenshot of Angie's List.

Jeremy Hobson: Another online company goes public today. This time, it's Angie's List, which lost $40 million last year. The company is a hub for consumer reviews for plumbers, lawyers and the like.

Marketplace's Steve Henn has more now from Silicon Valley.


Steve Henn: Angie's List has been around the block. It's older than Google. It began before the first Internet bubble inflated, way back 1995. It's even shown up on game shows.

Alex Trebek on "Jeopardy": There's Craigslist and her list, named for Ms. Hicks, who was frustrated when trying to find a good contractor. Tom.

Tom on "Jeopardy": What is Angie's List?

At first blush, its business model seems kind of brilliant. Angie's List bundles up and sells consumer reviews. It doesn't pay the reviewers a dime, but today more than a million people subscribe to Angie's List for $30 to $60 a year. The company makes even more money by allowing well-reviewed businesses to advertise. So how is it that Angie's List is still in a hole?

Nick Einhorn: They are spending a lot on marketing.

Nick Einhorn is with Renaissance Capital. He says the company spends around $80 on marketing to sign up a single new subscriber. Einhorn says the question of investors is whether all that spending will ever pay off.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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