IAC-Spinoff Tree.com Buys Done Right

Tree.com has acquired the operating assets of Done Right, a service that provides guaranteed referrals for service professionals in at least 38 markets via dedicated phone lines. Referrals come from print directories (“the orange book”) and online sites, which are thought to act in concert.

Done Right was launched in 2005 and has made more than 50,000 referrals for 1,000-plus service professionals. It has had at least $6 million in funding.

Tree.com is the publicly owned company that was created last fall by the spinoff of IAC’s Real Estate division, including LendingTree.com and RealEstate.com. Its mission is described as “being an ally for those looking to comparison shop loans, real estate and other financial products from one location.”

Tree.com Senior VP Greg Hanson said in a statement: “The acquisition of Done Right perfectly complements our mission. We’re excited to enter this new market with its untapped opportunities for rapid growth, and we’re on track to continue helping contractors both large and small expand like so many other providers in our network.”

The company’s leadership, as leaders within IAC, obviously had a close look at ServiceMagic, an IAC company that has a run-rate of $120 million per year. It will now compete directly against ServiceMagic, as well as other entities in the space, such as Angie’s List and Sears’ ServiceLive.

ServiceMagic Cochairman Rodney Rice, however, thinks there is plenty of room for the competition. In comments at a recent Kelsey conference, Rice said that “we’re gnats compared to the context of the industry.”

Tree.com’s acquisition of Done Right is an interesting example of how strategies are dropped and revived. ServiceMagic previously worked with real estate but dropped it several years ago as “nonstrategic.”

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