Hipages acquires New Zealand tradie platform Builderscrack in $11.8 million sale

hipages-acquires-builderscrack

Hipages co-founder and chief Roby Sharon-Zipser. Source: supplied.

Tradie marketplace hipages has acquired the New Zealand-based online trades platform Builderscrack in an $11.8 million sale.

Speaking to SmartCompany, hipages Group chief executive and co-founder, Roby Sharon-Zipser noted the deal was “a big milestone” for both platforms and an opportunity to share pricing models and growth strategies.

“Builderscrack has done an outstanding job over the last 15 years and we see a huge opportunity to take what we’ve learned and what they’ve learned and bring it together to make an even better business,” Sharon-Zipser says.

The deal will see hipages Group acquire 100% of Builderscrack, with the sale made up of $11.8 million in cash and equity.

Founded in 2007 by Jeremy Wyn-Harris, Mark Dickson and Keith Robert, Builderscrack is a website that connects tradies across New Zealand with residential consumers, allowing homeowners to post jobs, find trades professionals and leave reviews.

In the financial year 2020-21, consumers posted 95,000 jobs on the online marketplace, making it the leading trades platform in New Zealand.

Moreover, Builderscrack facilitated about $237 million (NZ$250 million) in job value from more than 480,000 jobs posted since it was founded, with $63.7 million (NZ$67 million) of that amount in the financial year 2020-21 alone.

Hipages’ take rate, which is the proportion of value the platform earns from the total value of jobs facilitated on the platform, is 2.1%. Whereas, Builderscrack’s take rate is much higher at 3.9%.

Sharon-Zipser says Builderscrack uses more sophisticated pricing techniques allowing it to capture the intent of its users and generate a higher rate.

“They know whether a user is more inclined to proceed with the job or not and then ultimately, they work on a commission model, so that’s why their take rates are higher,” he says.

Builderscrack’s co-founder and general manager Jeremy Wyn-Harris will continue managing the platform in New Zealand along with the 14-strong team.

The business is also in the process of recruiting for technology and marketing roles, with Sharon-Zipser saying “they’re looking for about half a dozen new staff”.

Sharon-Zipser says the two businesses will remain separate and he has no plans to change the name Builderscrack because “it’s just so appropriate to the New Zealand market”.

“I think the name actually helps. It’s a bit of a chuckle and it’s appropriate so we’ll definitely be keeping it separate to hipages,” he says.

The sale is aligned with hipages Group’s growth strategy, and follows its recent investment in a property management technology platform Bricks + Agent and the field service software solution Tradiecore.

“We have made some smaller purchases over the last year and we also made a meaningful investment in Bricks + Agent recently,” Sharon-Zipser says.

Commenting on the announcement, Builderscrack general manager and co-founder Jeremy Wyn-Harris, said he was proud of his platform’s recent growth and hipages Group is a natural partner.

“Joining forces with Roby and his team will enable us to take our business to the next level,” he said.

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