News Corp invests $40m on 25% stake in hipages

By @pathakmishra on
Executive Chairman of News Corp and Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox Rupert Murdoch arrives on the red carpet during the second annual Breakthrough Prize Awards at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California November 9, 2014.
Executive Chairman of News Corp and Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox Rupert Murdoch arrives on the red carpet during the second annual Breakthrough Prize Awards at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California November 9, 2014. Reuters/Stephen Lam

News Corp Australia has invested around $40 million in buying 25 percent stake in hipages, an online marketplace for tradesmen, familiar sources revealed.

The news provider announced purchasing the shares in the tradesman marketplace in December, but it did not reveal any figure relating to expenditure required. But the sources disclosed it to Business Insider.

Although hipages co-founder and CEO David Vitek did not comment on the investment figures when asked, he discussed related aspects. He said that the transaction was done over 90 days, with the paperwork completed and finally signed in December. The details provided unveiled association of the News Corp’s head of digital products, Alisa Bowen, and News Corp’s managing director of community publishing, Brett Clegg, with hipages board in future.

The online channels of hipages are showing strong growth with 80,000 jobs available in a month at the end of 2015 and projected number of jobs as 90,000 in January. In 2016, hipages aims at spreading more brand awareness. “News Corp fits in well the brand awareness with their investment which we can use to really up our marketing budget,” Vitek was quoted by Business Insider as saying. “And of course, the capabilities with their media brands.”

He added that 2016 will be a year of improvement in terms of product quality to ensure tradespeople as well as customers both are satisfied. “We want to go into every part of the site and add value,” Vitek said. “Mainly, we want to make the tradie experience better. The admin side isn’t what they enjoy the most about their job, we want to take away the hassle and make it easier.”

While announcing the investment last month, News Corp Australia chief executive Peter Tonagh said that the investment was according to the development plan. Hipages is the market leader with brilliant online exposure. Hence, the news company was looking forward to working with hipages team to expand its reach.