|47 US cities, 4 UK cities, 1 Canadian city (October 2018)|
TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand, allowing consumers to find immediate help with everyday tasks, including cleaning, moving, delivery and handyman work. Founded in 2008 by Leah Busque, the company has received $37.7 million in funding to date and currently has tens of thousands of vetted, background-checked "Taskers" available to help consumers across a wide variety of categories. Busque founded TaskRabbit when she had no time to buy dog food, basing it on the idea of "neighbors helping neighbors".
The precursor of TaskRabbit was RunMyErrand, which was launched in 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts with the first 100 "runners". In 2009, Tim Ferriss became an advisor to the firm after meeting Busque at Facebook's startup incubator, fbFund. The firm accumulated $1.8 million in seed funding from venture capital firms, and hired the company's first full-time employee, Brian Leonard, a software engineer with whom she had worked at IBM.
In April 2010, Busque changed the name of the company from RunMyErrand to TaskRabbit. By June 2010, Busque and team moved across the country and opened operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. One year later, in May 2011, TaskRabbit closed a $5 million Series A financing round from Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, Floodgate Fund, Collaborative Fund, 500 Startups, and The Mesh author Lisa Gansky. At that time, the firm had 13 employees and 2,000 participating "TaskRabbits". Within the next year, the firm expanded from Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area to New York City, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Orange County, California.
In July 2011, TaskRabbit launched an app which allowed users to post a task with an iPhone. In October 2011, Busque hired Eric Grosse, the co-founder and former president of Hotwire.com, as the firm's new CEO so she could focus on product development. In December 2011, TaskRabbit received an additional $17.8 million in a Series B round of funding. At the time, the firm had 35 employees and generated $4 million in business each month.
In 2012, Busque reassumed the role of CEO, with Gross staying on with the company’s board of directors, advising on strategy and operations. In January 2013, the company hired Stacy Brown-Philpot, former Google Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a veteran leader of global operations at Google, as the company’s first COO.
In March 2013, a new tool for “TaskRabbit Business" was introduced which allowed businesses to hire temporary workers from the TaskRabbit users, with a 26 percent commission.
The company launched in London, its first international market, in November 2013. Because of declines both in bids and in completed and accepted tasks in the U.S., the company chose to test a new system in London; instead of an eBay-inspired bidding model, Taskers would set their own rates and schedules, and when a new job was posted that matched their profile the platform would send them an alert. The first to respond got the job. In London the results were overwhelmingly positive: almost all the company's metrics markedly improved, and the average amount of money that individual Taskers on the platform were taking home rose considerably.
On June 17, 2014, TaskRabbit announced and began implementing this change in all markets. The new version was officially released on July 10, 2014, and was met with significant backlash from the Tasker community.
Amidst the backlash, the company kept faith in the metrics that inspired the change, even amidst the worst criticism. TaskRabbit incorporated some of the most prominent feedback into an updated version of its app that launched on January 1, 2015, and has since experienced considerable growth. In 2014, TaskRabbit received 4,000 applications to be a Tasker. In 2015, that number grew to 15,000.
Acquisition by IKEA
In April 2018, the company was affected by a data breach.
In September 2018, Ikea announced to launch TaskRabbit in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal in late 2018. At present, TaskRabbit is available in around 45 cities across the United States and Britain. As of October 2018, the service had launched in Toronto and its Vancouver launch was planned for the following month.
The education level of contractors varies. Out of all the contractors, 70 percent hold bachelor's degrees, 20 percent hold master's degrees, and 5 percent hold a PhD.
Some people have turned their TaskRabbit work into a full-time job.
In popular culture
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- Kirsner, Scott. Small start-up takes an idea and runs with it. The Boston Globe. July 5, 2009.
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- O’Dell, Jolie. How one woman technologist single-handedly created thousands of jobs VentureBeat. November 2, 2011.
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- TaskRabbit THRILLIST.
- Myers, Courtney. TaskRabbit goes mobile! TheNextWeb. July 28, 2011.
- Why TaskRabbit hired a CEO SFGate. October 12, 2011.
- Taylor, Colleen. TaskRabbit nabs Hotwire co-founder as CEO GigaOM. October 12, 2011.
- Tsotsis, Alexia. TaskRabbit Gets A New CEO, Eric Grosse TechCrunch. October 12, 2011.
- Bilton, Nick. TaskRabbit Looks to Expand Cities and Offer an API. New York Times. November 10, 2011.
- Roush, Wade. Bay Area Biztech News by the Numbers Xconomy. October 12, 2011.
- "TaskRabbit Founder Leah Busque Takes Back The Reins, Stepping Back Into CEO Role". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "TaskRabbit Hires Google's Brown-Philpot in a Renewed Management Expansion". All Things Digital. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
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- Newton, Casey (17 June 2014). "TaskRabbit is blowing up its business model and becoming the Uber for everything". The Verge.
- Somerville, Heather (17 June 2014). "TaskRabbit reboots with new business model". SiliconBeat.
- Perez, Sarah (17 June 2014). "Following A Drop In Completed Jobs, Errands Marketplace TaskRabbit Shakes Up Its Business Model". TechCrunch.
- "Through The Fire: What TaskRabbit Learned From Its Big Backlash". TechCrunch. Jan 21, 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system". VentureBeat. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "Cold shoulder: TaskRabbit tells customers to stay inside while contractors freeze their asses off". PandoDaily. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- Guynn, Jessica. "TaskRabbit names new CEO". USA Today. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Ikea has bought TaskRabbit". Recode. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Dickey, Megan Rose. "Ikea has bought TaskRabbit". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Perez, Megan. "IKEA U.S. launches a furniture assembly service from TaskRabbit". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- Alaimo, Dan (2018-04-19). "Ikea-owned TaskRabbit hit by apparent data breach". RetailDive. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "IKEA's services platform TaskRabbit expands to Canada". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
- "IKEA 'TaskRabbit' coming to Richmond to assemble your furniture". Vancouver Courier. Glacier Media. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is weirdly into the gig economy". Retrieved 11 September 2017.