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Thumbtack: online marketplace for local services

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Uploaded on Jun 17, 2011

Where do you go when you need to find a plumber or a babysitter or a hairstylist? Merchants like these aren't always on the Internet, and it can be difficult to locate service providers who have been vetted such that you can use them with confidence. Thumbtack is solving that problem with its online marketplace.

"What's happening is that these services are more and more being found and booked online," explains Marco Zappacosta, Co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack, Inc. "If you think about it, these are things that people have always needed—cleaners, babysitters, handymen, plumbers—but now, more and more people think to go online to find them."

A host of other companies have recognized this trend are and competing in the same space. Thumbtack, however, has taken a different approach.

"We see ourselves much more as a marketplace than many of these other players," says Zappacosta, "and that means that we help merchants have a storefront, a presence online and help consumers vet them and book them right then and there. A lot of these players are actually sort of channels for these merchants (so one other place where they might be able to get another client), but we really see ourselves as their home online."

With over 140,000 active merchants and a growth rate of 5,000 per week, Thumbtack is expanding at a rapid pace.

"I think one of the reasons you see so many companies doing this now is that merchants by and large have come to understand the Internet is a channel they need to be on," says Zappacosta. "It's not seen as a question mark anymore. They know that's where people are looking. They know that's where they have to be."

One of Thumbtack's key objectives is to make the process as hassle-free as possible for merchants so they can focus on their core businesses. "We have to work really hard to make it easy to use, to make it obvious, and really we want to abstract away online marketing," says Zappacosta. "There's no reason why these merchants who are so busy and so hard-working should spend their time worrying about SEO or SEM, or social media buys. We want to abstract all of that away, give them a home online and then deliver them new clients when they need them."

More info:

Thumbtack web site: http://www.thumbtack.com/
Thumbtack blog: http://blog.thumbtack.com/
Thumbtack profile on CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/thu...
Thumbtack on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thumbtack

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