/ TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot (left) and Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin (proper).
Ikea, the Swedish furnishings retail massive, has bought TaskRabbit, a San Francisco startup that we could folks rent staff to do non permanent atypical jobs—like putting in Ikea furnishings, solving a leaky tap, or putting in for a birthday celebration.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, however Recode, which first reported the purchase, famous that “previous acquisitions by Ikea have ranged in price from $20 million to $90 million.”
“As urbanization and digital transformation continue to challenge retail concepts, we need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way,” Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin stated in a remark. “An acquisition of TaskRabbit would be an exciting leap in this transformation and allows us to move forward with an even greater focus on innovation and development to meet changing customer needs.”
For now, TaskRabbit services and products—the place every employee units their very own charges however the corporate takes 20 %—are to be had in 40 American towns and in London. The majority of its American staff (or “taskers” as the corporate dubs them) do no longer obtain any well being or retirement advantages, as is conventional in so-called “gig economy” jobs. While TaskRabbit itself has no longer been sued in federal courtroom by means of any of its staff so some distance, different corporations within the trade had been—a lot of exertions circumstances filed in opposition to Uber have been lately heard on the ninth US Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
It turns out not likely that Swedish industry tradition could have any affect on TaskRabbit’s staff, the vast majority of whom are advert hoc contractors. Sweden, which in most cases lacks a identical “gig economy” surroundings, boasts common public well being care and housing and kid care subsidies. Employees in Sweden are required to be supplied a minimal of 5 weeks paid annual depart, and wages are most often set by means of annual collective bargaining. According to Ikea’s remark, TaskRabbit will stay an impartial corporate and can stay in San Francisco—as such, its taskers are not regarded as to be workers.
“The taskers are not employed by TaskRabbit or IKEA Group,” Mona Liss, an Ikea spokeswoman, instructed Ars. “However, in general, IKEA supports good working conditions. We are really excited about this acquisition. We look forward to working with the competent and passionate TaskRabbit team and innovate the way in which IKEA customers can access services.”
In March 2014, TaskRabbit founder and then-CEO Leah Busque instructed Ars that she sought after the corporate to “work on a global scale.”
“There’s so much opportunity and potential that we can realize: we are 20,000 in the US; can we empower one million people on the TaskRabbit platform to build out their own businesses?” she stated.
Busque additionally stated:
I feel the distinctiveness and the value-add is the in-person enjoy, in particular in an on-demand method. But that is actually the problem that I need to resolve: turning in in-person, on-demand. I feel [our goal is] changing into a world corporate and increasing our classes and development out extra classes around the platform and going deeper on the ones classes. For instance: we’ve a sure selection of handymen; are we able to [multiply them] 10 occasions for handymen in [a given] space?