Durchslag Confident Despite Earnings Dip
Indianapolis-based Angie’s List Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI) is reporting a first quarter net loss of $4 million, compared with a net income of $4.4 million during the same period last year. Despite the loss, Chief Executive Officer Scott Durchslag says the company made good progress in preparing for its new "freemium" business model.
The earnings report comes after Angie’s List reported its first full-year profit in 21 years. Prior to the earnings announcement, Durchslag told Inside INdiana Business Television he believes the company’s new growth plan will allow it to more than double its business by 2020.
Durchslag said the company is currently rolling out its Angie’s List 4.0 platform "that will let us innovate at 10 times the speed of the previous one." Last month, Angie’s List unveiled its plan to drop the paywall for some of its services and has already seen promising returns in test areas.
"The rollout of our technology platform, AL 4.0, is on schedule, and we are on track to remove the reviews paywall by this summer," Durchslag said in the earnings report. "Our freemium offering, which is being piloted in some top markets, continues to perform robustly, with logins, searches, contract value and reviews each up compared with our control markets. These encouraging results give us confidence that our upcoming nationwide freemium rollout will drive a re-acceleration of our business."
Durchslag said despite the loss, the company grew its total number of service providers and total website traffic increased approximately 25 percent, compared with the same period last year.
The report came just one day after 17 former Angie’s List employees filed lawsuits against the company, alleging Angie’s List withheld payment for overtime hours worked. Attorney Kathleen DeLaney said the company allegedly instructed its employees "to under-report or not report hours worked over 40 hours per week, in order to avoid paying overtime."
The defendants, two of whom now work for competitor HomeAdvisor, are seeking compensation for lost overtime wages, damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.
Angie’s List spokesperson Cheryl Reed said Wednesday, "We don’t comment on pending litigation, but will say that it’s our policy and practice to pay employees for all time worked in accordance with state and federal law."