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. As a result of declines in bids and completed and accepted tasks in the U.S., 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. 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.
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.
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.
Some people have turned their TaskRabbit work into a full-time job.
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