TaskRabbit

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TaskRabbit
Taskrabbit logo13.png
Web addresstaskrabbit.com
SloganDo More, Live More. Be More.
Commercial?Yes
Type of site
Marketplace
Available inEnglish
OwnerLeah Busque
Launched2008
Current statusActive
 
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TaskRabbit
Taskrabbit logo13.png
Web addresstaskrabbit.com
SloganDo More, Live More. Be More.
Commercial?Yes
Type of site
Marketplace
Available inEnglish
OwnerLeah Busque
Launched2008
Current statusActive

TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood.[1] Users name the task they need done, name the price they are willing to pay, and a network of pre-approved contractors bid to complete the job.[2] It was founded by Leah Busque in 2008 and has received $37.5 million in funding.[3] Busque founded TaskRabbit when she had no time to buy dog food, basing it on the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors.”[4]

History[edit]

The precursor of TaskRabbit was RunMyErrand, which was launched in 2008 in Boston with the first 100 "runners."[2][5] In 2009, Tim Ferriss became an advisor to the firm after meeting Busque at Facebook’s startup incubator, fbFund.[6][7] The firm accumulated $1.8 million in seed funding from venture capital firms, [8][7] and hired the company’s first full-time employee, Brian Leonard, a software engineer with whom she had worked at IBM.[9][5][10]

In April 2010, Busque changed the name of the company from RunMyErrand to TaskRabbit.[11] 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.[12][13] At that time the firm had 13 employees and 2,000 participating "TaskRabbits".[1] Within the next year, the firm expanded from Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area to New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County.[14][15]

In July 2011, TaskRabbit launched an app, which allows users to post a task with an iPhone.[16][17][18][19][20] In October 2011, she 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.[21][22][23]

In December 2011, TaskRabbit received an additional $17.8 million in a Series B round of funding;[13] At the time the firm had 35 employees and generated $4 million in business each month.[1][17][24]

In March 2013, a new tool for their “TaskRabbit Business" was introduced which allows businesses to hire temporary workers from the TaskRabbit users, with a 26 percent commission.[25]

In July 2013, TaskRabbit confirmed a layoff of 13 people, 20 percent of the 65 employees.[26]

In March 2014, TaskRabbit shut down its Business Services portal.[27]

Site structure[edit]

TaskRabbit has been described as eBay for real-world labor.[2] Users post tasks on the site and declare the maximum amount they would pay for it.[2][19][28][29][30] Pre-certified, background-checked TaskRabbits, the people who complete the jobs, then bid on completing the task.[31] The user then selects the TaskRabbit who is the best match for the task.[2][32]

People wishing to become a TaskRabbit must apply online, go through background checks, and pass an online quiz based on the company's manual, previously having to also submit a video interview.[20][33] The firm says that its workforce is composed of students, unemployed workers, retirees, and stay-at-home moms, with ages ranging from 21 to 72.[10][31] The firm generates revenue by taking on average a 20% cut of each task, previously on a sliding 12-20% scale depending on total price.[13][34]

TaskRabbit employs gamification techniques.[13] A leaderboard ranks the top workers, displaying their levels and average customer reviews.[2]

Demographics[edit]

The education level of contractors vary. Out of the all the contractors, 70 percent hold bachelor’s degree, 20 percent hold master’s degree, and 5 percent hold a PhD.[35]

Some people have turned their work for TaskRabbit into a full time job.[36]

Reboot[edit]

On June 17, 2014, reportedly as a result of declines in bids and completed and accepted tasks, TaskRabbit announced[37] and began rolling out a complete reboot from its original task posting and bidding model to a direct hire only model.[38][39][40]

Along with the reversal in marketplace direction (from task-doers looking for posts to bid on to task-posters directly assigning random task-doers tasks without their consent or approval), various other changes came along with the July 2014 reboot or pivot, namely:

Formerly independent contractor freelance TaskRabbits may effectively become de facto employees of TaskRabbit, raising potential income tax issues as well. The changeover occurred abruptly, as TaskRabbit sent out a memo which states that all tasks will be paid on an hourly basis, instead of on a per project basis, without a full analysis of the other attendant changes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Moran, Gwen. Building a Business on Busy Schedules and Making Errands Pay. Entrepreneur. November 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tsotsis, Alexia. TaskRabbit Turns Grunt Work Into a Game WIRED. July 15, 2011.
  3. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne. TaskRabbit takes on another $13 million in funding The Verge. July 23, 2012.
  4. ^ http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4352116/taskrabbit-temp-agency-gig-economy
  5. ^ a b Kirsner, Scott. Small start-up takes an idea and runs with it. The Boston Globe. July 5, 2009.
  6. ^ Eldon, Eric. FbFund: 18 companies and 2 nonprofits win, head to Palo Alto. VentureBeat. May 28, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Kirsner, Scott. TaskRabbit's Leah Busque: The exit interview. The Boston Globe. May 26, 2010.
  8. ^ Lopez, Lolita. Creative Ways to Make Money in Sour Economy. NBC. February 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Moore, Galen. Web startup RunMyErrand to move execs west. Mass High Tech. March 11, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Hoshaw, Lindsey. Need someone to run your errands? There’s an app for that Forbes. July 28, 2011.
  11. ^ RunMyErrand becomes TaskRabbit. L.A.B. Unleashed. April 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Parr, Ben. TaskRabbit for iPhone Lets You Outsource Your Chores Mashable. July 28, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d Tsotsis, Alexia. TaskRabbit Gets $5M From Shasta Ventures TechCrunch.
  14. ^ Shontell, Alyson. Taskrabbit Leah Busque Interview BusinessInsider. October 27, 2011.
  15. ^ O’Dell, Jolie. How one woman technologist single-handedly created thousands of jobs VentureBeat. November 2, 2011.
  16. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. TaskRabbit Releases Its Amazing iPhone App. TechCrunch. July 28, 2011.
  17. ^ a b Brustein, Joshua. Outsourcing Chores Made Easy New York Times. August 21, 2011.
  18. ^ Hornshaw, Phil. Fresh iPhone Apps for Sept. 19 Appolicious. September 19, 2011.
  19. ^ a b TaskRabbit THRILLIST.
  20. ^ a b Myers, Courtney. TaskRabbit goes mobile! TheNextWeb. July 28, 2011.
  21. ^ Why TaskRabbit hired a CEO SFGate. October 12, 2011.
  22. ^ Taylor, Colleen. TaskRabbit nabs Hotwire co-founder as CEO GigaOM. October 12, 2011.
  23. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. TaskRabbit Gets A New CEO, Eric Grosse TechCrunch. October 12, 2011.
  24. ^ Roush, Wade. Bay Area Biztech News by the Numbers Xconomy. October 12, 2011.
  25. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/23/taskrabbit-for-business-temp-workers/
  26. ^ http://wallstreetinsanity.com/taskrabbit-lays-off-nearly-20-percent-of-its-staff-to-realign-company/
  27. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/01/taskrabbit-for-business-service-portal-quietly-disappears/
  28. ^ Cuomo, Chris. TaskRabbit: Putting Americans Back to Work, One Odd Job at a Time abcnews. September 29, 2011.
  29. ^ Chuang, Tamara. 10 Best Apps for Ordinary Chores The Street. October 26, 2011.
  30. ^ Tiku, Nitasha. Brother, Can You Spare Some Time? Zaarly, Taskrabbit, and the Rise of the Convenience Economy. BetaBeat. November 30, 2011.
  31. ^ a b Decanio, Lisa. Too Busy to Donate This Season? Outsource Your Good Deeds with TaskRabbit. BostInno. November 29, 2011.
  32. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Collaborative Consumption Leader And Unlikely VC Rachel Bostman Will Convince Us All To Share Fast Company. September 20, 2011.
  33. ^ Donnelly, Tim. How Far Can You Push Customers’ Trust Inc. November 3, 2011.
  34. ^ Gerzema, John. Why You Should Hire E-Lancers Inc. October 1, 2011.
  35. ^ http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4352116/taskrabbit-temp-agency-gig-economy
  36. ^ http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4352116/taskrabbit-temp-agency-gig-economy
  37. ^ "Unveiling The New TaskRabbit". TaskRabbit Blog. 17 June 2014. 
  38. ^ Somerville, Heather (17 June 2014). "TaskRabbit reboots with new business model". SiliconBeat. 
  39. ^ Newton, Casey (17 June 2014). "TaskRabbit is blowing up its business model and becoming the Uber for everything". The Verge. 
  40. ^ Perez, Sarah (17 June 2014). "Following A Drop In Completed Jobs, Errands Marketplace TaskRabbit Shakes Up Its Business Model". TechCrunch. 

External links[edit]