RealTime IT News

GE Acquires Stake in ImproveNet

General Electric said it has provided a major round of private equity investment in ImproveNet, an online contractor matching service.

GE Appliances also entered into an agreement to advertise and offer product information to remodeling contractors and consumers on the ImproveNet site.

GE Equity and GE Appliances provided the investment; financial details were not disclosed.

"GE is investing in ImproveNet to strengthen its commitment to the needs of remodeling contractors and consumers," said David M. Cote, president and CEO of GE Appliances.

"As appliances are a major part of most household remodeling, it makes sense for us to build a relationship with the leading Internet company serving this industry."

ImproveNet offers an array of remodeling tips and product information, a team of project advisors and experts, and a referral service matching homeowners with pre-screened contractors, designers, and architects.

Separately, GE said it plans a Web site to sell such consumer services and products as mortgages.

GE plans to work out the final details of the site in a meeting next week of electronic-commerce officials from the company's consumer businesses, GE Chief Information Officer Gary Reiner told Bloomberg News in an interview.

GE Chairman John F. Welch Jr. is pushing all of GE's 11 main divisions to embrace the Internet, which he has called the biggest business event since the Industrial Revolution.

The site is in addition to one that GE Capital Corp., the company's finance arm, plans to debut later this month.