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.[2][4] 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,[5] background-checked "Taskers" available to help consumers across a wide variety of categories.[6][7] Busque founded TaskRabbit when she had no time to buy dog food, basing it on the idea of "neighbors helping neighbors".[8]

History

The precursor of TaskRabbit was RunMyErrand, which was launched in 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts with the first 100 "runners".[4][9] In 2009, Tim Ferriss became an advisor to the firm after meeting Busque at Facebook's startup incubator, fbFund.[10][11] The firm accumulated $1.8 million in seed funding from venture capital firms,[11][12] and hired the company's first full-time employee, Brian Leonard, a software engineer with whom she had worked at IBM.[9][13][14]

In April 2010, Busque changed the name of the company from RunMyErrand to TaskRabbit.[15] 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.[16][17] At that time, the firm had 13 employees and 2,000 participating "TaskRabbits".[2] 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.[18][19]

In July 2011, TaskRabbit launched an app which allowed users to post a task with an iPhone.[20][21][22][23][24] 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.[25][26][27] In December 2011, TaskRabbit received an additional $17.8 million in a Series B round of funding.[17] At the time, the firm had 35 employees and generated $4 million in business each month.[2][6][29]

In 2012, Busque reassumed the role of CEO, with Gross staying on with the company’s board of directors, advising on strategy and operations.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32]

In April 2016, Stacy Brown-Philpot was promoted to CEO.[33]

In September 2017, the IKEA Group announced its acquisition of TaskRabbit, expected to close in October.[34][35]

Reboot

The company launched in London, its first international market, in November 2013.[36] As a result of declines in bids and completed and accepted tasks in the U.S.,[8] the company ultimately decided to road-test a new system in London; instead of an E-bay 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.[6][37] In London the results were overwhelmingly positive: virtually all of the company’s metrics markedly improved, and the average amount of money that individual Taskers on the platform were taking home rose considerably.[6]

On June 17, 2014, TaskRabbit announced and began rolling this complete reboot from its original task posting and bidding model to a direct hire only model across all markets.[38][39]

The new version was officially released on July 10, 2014, and was met with significant backlash from the Tasker community.[40]

Amidst the backlash, the company kept faith in the metrics that inspired the change, even amidst the worst criticism.[41] 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.[42] In 2014, TaskRabbit received 4,000 applications to be a Tasker. In 2015, that number grew to 15,000.[6]

Demographics

The education level of contractors vary. Out of all the contractors, 70 percent hold bachelor's degree, 20 percent hold master's degree, and 5 percent hold a PhD.[8]

Some people have turned their TaskRabbit work into a full-time job.[8]

TaskRabbit was the basis for an episode of season three of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.[43]

Available cities

  • Ann Arbor/Detroit
  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • London
  • Louisville
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Nashville
  • New York City
  • Oklahoma City
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Sacramento
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg
  • Ventura County
  • Washington DC

See also