Latest Oisin Hanrahan News
Mar 11, 2021
In 2012, Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua dropped out of Harvard Business School to launch Handybook—an app aimed at bringing on-demand technology to the fragmented home service market. In 2018, Angi Homeservices—one of the oldest and biggest home tech businesses—bought Handy for an undisclosed sum. Two years after the deal, Hanrahan became CEO of publicly-traded Angi's, while Dua became the corporation's Chief Revenue Officer. The founders of the acquired start-up are now running the acquirer. How did it happen? How does a start-up CEO adjust to lead a large, publicly-traded company? How does a new CEO build a new culture during a pandemic when everyone is working from home? I've known Hanrahan and Dua since the early days of Handybook —now called Handy. Together, we've spoken on conference panels and podcasts (and a few bar stools). Luckily, Hanrahan was happy to hop on the phone to talk about his evolving CEO role. "Let's start with what I'm not changing," says Hanrahan. "I like high-velocity change. It's important to focus on speed, execution, and making mistakes to learn as an organization. I'm going to bring the level of change and intensity of a smaller company to the entire company. " I might disagree with you, but I want to hear what you think. If I don't agree, I'll be very direct about it Oisin Hanrahan The entire company is much larger, spread out, and complex than anything Hanrahan has ever run. Angi owns three core brands. Angie's List is a marketplace for customers to find trusted pros. HomeAdvisor lets people request quotes for construction and repair projects. Handy delivers on-demand home services—cleaning, repairs, furniture assembly—at fixed prices. Barry Diller's IAC owns 80% of the Angies, the rest trades on NASDAQ with an $8 billion market cap. Angi shares have jumped nearly 200% since the Covid-19 pandemic turned the home into the center of everyone's universe. Angie's 5,000 employees are spread across the country, with headquarters in Indianapolis (Angie's List), Denver (HomeAdvisor), and New York (Handy). With brands and employees scattered about, Hanrahan aims to use the current work-from-home world as an opportunity to unify the company's different cultures and brands. "Communication is critical when you go from running a company with a few hundred people to one with many thousand," says Hanrahan. "It's important for everyone to know my leadership philosophy. I work hard and expect everyone to do the same. I don't sugarcoat news, whether good or bad. And I'm very open to feedback. I might disagree with you, but I want to hear what you think. If I don't agree, I'll be very direct about it." Building a new culture is crucial. Hanrahan says it's okay if each brand has its flavor and style, but the teams need to share a common value. "Our mission is that home is the most important place on earth—especially given the pandemic," says Hanrahan. "Our goal is simple—to help people love where they live. We want them to enjoy their home, be proud of it." Today, a person might have the money to renovate their kitchen or bathroom but aren't sure if they want to go through the pain of doing it Oisin Hanrahan Hanrahan grew up in Dublin, Ireland, graduated from Trinity University and started a real estate company in Hungry. He briefly joined VC firm Accel Partners in 2012 before enrolling in Harvard Business School. Dua, went to high school in India, graduated from Amherst College, and did a tour at McKinsey & Co. before launching a social network that connected Indian students with peers around the globe. The pair met at Harvard Business School. They didn’t stay long. IPhones and the gig economy were rocking the start-up world. It was 2012, the age of Uber for X. Armies of ambitious entrepreneurs rushed to create companies that delivered services like rides, food, lodging, laundry, grooming with a screen tap. Hanrahan and Dua dropped out of Harvard to build Handybook. It was an app for busy, affluent city dwellers to book home cleaners, movers, and pros to hang their new TVs with the ease of snagging a ride or booking a dinner reservation. For workers in the service business—a market traditionally fragmented, under-the-table, and frankly, shady—it offered predictable work and documented income that could help establish credit and qualify for car and home loans. Over the next four years, Handy raised more than $110 million in funds from General Catalyst, Highland Capital, Revolution Ventures, and Fidelity. They expanded into more cities, fortified their tech and logistics, recruited pros, and acquired rivals. In 2018 Angi bought Handy to add the mobile-native, a fixed-price service, to its older, desktop-based platforms. Hanrahan remained Handy's CEO until June 2019, when he became the Chief Product Officer for all Angies Home Services. This February, IAC named him CEO. Before taking the top job, Hanrahan spoke to friends who run publicly-traded corporations for tips. Their advice: Be honest with yourself about why you want the job. Write down things that you believe are true that the rest of the world hasn't figured out. You'll be tempted to move at a slower pace because you'll think you have to take more things into account. Don't. You must change and execute at the same rate as before, especially within your first ninety days as CEO. Hanrahan says he's attracted to the challenge and opportunity to reshape the massive home service market. He's betting that Angi can transform maintenance, renovation, contracting, and construction the same way digital retail giants have revolutionized retail. "Today, a person might have the money to renovate their kitchen or bathroom but aren't sure if they want to go through the pain of doing it," says Hanrahan. "They don't know if they'll be taken advantage of, be overcharged, and worry that the people they hire will do a bad job or even break something. " Hanrahan thinks that by using data, aggregating consumer demand, better managing labor and talent pools, Angi can make home services seamless and stress-free. To get started, Hanrahan says he's focusing on unifying his teams and services across Angi's three brands and hiring top talent. He's also rolling out new products for mobile, payments, and a financing program for larger jobs. If done right, he thinks hiring a contractor to remodel your bathroom can be as easy as booking a plumber to fix a toilet. "We want to help people stop worrying about maintenance and putting off home improvements because they don't want the friction or the hassle," says Hanrahan. "We want people to make braver choices with their homes." Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn . Check out my website or some of my other work here . Send me a secure tip .