Barry Diller’s Platform Empire | Winner Take All

– I don’t think people
think of Barry Diller as kind of a hallowed platform investor, which I think they probably should be thinking about him that way. Just yesterday it was
announced that the peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace
Turo raised $250 million at over a $1 billion valuation. That makes them one of these
hallowed unicorn companies. Turo is a platform, they’re a marketplace, that lets you rent cars from people that own cars. Think of it as like
Airbnb for car sharing. So now the interesting thing with Turo is that the person, the company that led this
round in them, which is IAC, and if you don’t know who or what IAC is, they’re basically a conglomerate, founded and run by a
guy named Barry Diller. I think I would qualify Barry Diller as kind of like an OG Platform guru. He’s definitely probably the oldest, most successful platform investor and owner out there. I’m willing to make that statement. What else does Barry
Diller do with platforms? Well, you may have heard of
a company called Expedia, and in Expedia’s 10-K, there’s interesting language in here so “By virtue of the voting power “of an irrevocable proxy
granted to Mr. Diller,” basically what they’re
saying is that Barry Diller controls the whole company. And that could be a risk or I guess that could be a pro or an asset, but basically if Barry
Diller doesn’t want something to happen at Expedia then
it’s not going to happen. And obviously, Dara,
who’s now the CEO of Uber has a very close relationship with Barry. Dara’s still on the board of Expedia and has really amazing things
to say about Barry Diller. But I don’t think people
think of Barry Diller as kind of a hallowed platform investor, which I think they probably should be thinking about him that way. So Expedia, not a small
company, Expedia’s in PLAT. Expedia over the past few
years has been transitioning more of their business model
to be more of a marketplace. – The thing that Expedia
originally got big on was they called this the Expedia
Name Your Price option where you’d name a price, and they’d match you with hotel inventory. That was basically them reselling
blocks of hotel inventory at the price they chose
that they’d pay for upfront. And they’ve been moving away from that partly because Booking, which had surpassed them for
a while was wildly successful with this marketplace agency model, and they were moving in that direction as that had taken off. Expedia’s a great story. What’s another platform
model that IAC owns? You’ll see here they
have this thing called ANGI Homeservices Inc. ANGI also in plat is one of if not the dominant marketplace for home services. In 2017, HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List kind of merged together, made an acquisition, became a public company, and then recently, Handy was
acquired by Angie’s List, which is kind of like the
marketplace 2.0 version for home services. So I would describe an
Angie’s List, a HomeAdvisor, as 1.0 in the sense that it’s kind of more of a referral engine. You’re not necessarily
mandating that every customer is completing
that core transaction with a producer on the
platform and all the money is being controlled and
flowing through the platform. There’s definitely much
more of a referral model to these marketplaces where they connect you to the supplier, and then the transaction happens off-line rather than through the platform. – Exactly. So with this acquisition of Handy, this was fall of last year, now what Barry has basically done, he’s done a roll up. He’s pretty good at these
if we look at Match, and they actually incubated Tinder, but they have now started
to corner the market of home services and be a very viable if not probably more dominant competitor than say an Amazon Home
Services and other players that are trying to get into this space. So look, my hat’s off to Barry. I think there’s a lot, a
lot deeper than I’d like to go into some of the
things that IAC is doing, but this was very interesting that now they’re getting into Turo. Now they’re getting into
the automotive space. Now they’re getting into kind
of the Airbnb of car rentals, which I think is a great
space for them to be in, and there’s a lot of opportunity there.

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