ith a new corporate-minded COO in place, TaskRabbit is setting its sights on the business world.
The company, which runs an online marketplace to let people pay to outsource jobs and errands to background-checked individuals, today announced “TaskRabbit for business,” which is dedicated to helping companies source temporary workers for short-term jobs.
To kick off the concept, TaskRabbit is launching a business-focused web portal that will be available in Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Interactive conference coming up in early March. TaskRabbit says that last year at SXSW just after it launched its service in Austin, a number of companies used TaskRabbit to find people for tasks such as street team marketing, supply delivery, and event staff. The new dashboard is aimed at making it much easier for companies attending SXSW to use TaskRabbit for such labor.
In terms of the competitive landscape, TaskRabbit says its business product is “more reliable than online classifieds and less costly than traditional temp agencies.”
TaskRabbit, the San Francisco-based marketplace for personal projects and services, has hired longtime Google exec Stacy Brown-Philpot as COO.
As both its funding and also competition have increased, the move is another major effort by TaskRabbit to up its management game.
Brown-Philpot certainly fits the bill, having worked at a wide range of jobs at Google for more than a decade. The Detroit native was most recently an entrepreneur in residence at Google Ventures, and has worked on global operations for a wide range of products — including as head of online sales and operations for Google India — and also in high-level finance jobs at the Silicon Valley search giant.
One of the neatest things to come from the current generation of tech companies are informal communities where strangers do things for one another, like share a ride or a spare room. Taskrabbit allows people to hire one another for odd jobs. These jobs can be pretty much anything, but for tasks like taking in clothing for donation, I would much rather give $20 to a neighbor with a car than figure it out myself. Getting tasks done may be easy, but becoming someone who does the tasks isn’t: there are 1,500 people on the waiting list in New York City.
That’s where the rabbits came in. When the work became too much for the 16 full-time employees at his San Francisco office, Mr. Brezina reached out to TaskRabbit, an on-demand service for farming out quick jobs to individual freelancers, which the company calls rabbits. On some days, as many as three rabbits were dispatched to Sincerely, where they packed elaborately designed gifts sets whose contents ranged from puppy-training accessories to cocktail supplies and baby gear.
“Putting these gifts together is an intensely manual process,” Mr. Brezina said, requiring workers who bring attention and care. “We have some people we really like, and we hire them over and over.”
TaskRabbit, the online marketplace that lets people outsource small jobs and tasks, has acquired One Jackson, an e-commerce site for kids’ clothing. Financial terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. One Jackson had raised some $2 million in funding from Accel’s Theresia Ranzetta and Trinity’s Patricia Nakache, along with Next View (David Beisel), Floodgate (Ann Miura-Ko), and Aileen Lee‘s seed fund Cowboy Ventures. TaskRabbit, for its part, has raised a total of $37.7 million.
MIT’s StartLab Annual Startup Bootcamp with Leah Busque
Making the leap into starting your own business is a brave and bold move, and everyone's path is different. There are plenty of things I wish I'd known when I decided to quit my position at IBM and work on the idea that later became TaskRabbit. Maybe that's why one of the things I cherish most about being a founder and CEO is the opportunity to offer advice to new entrepreneurs. Here's my ultimate to-do list for new and aspiring founders.
“We are enabling micro-entrepreneurs to build their own business on top of TaskRabbit, to set their own schedules, specify how much they want to get paid, say what they are good at, and then incorporate the work into their lifestyle,” she says. Venture capitalists have bet $38 million on TaskRabbit and millions more on similar startups.
It's with great excitement that we announce two new additions to the TaskRabbit Board of Directors: former President of eBay Marketplaces, Lorrie Norrington and Founder of OpenTable, Chuck Templeton. Chuck and Lorrie both have tremendously relevant and valuable experience, and we couldn't be happier to have them join the TaskRabbit team.
Hiring's tough. It's not just filtering through hundreds of applications and blocking out big chunks of your day for interviews-- those are the simple parts. The difficult thing is the nagging feeling that, despite your best efforts, the perfect candidate will somehow fall through the cracks.
Labor-marketplace TaskRabbit is today announcing a $13 million C-round of funding, led by Founders Fund. The C-round will bring the collaborative consumption startup's total funding to $38 million. Newly reinstated TaskRabbit CEO Leah Busque tells me that she will be using the funding for aggressive company expansion, with her sights set internationally on London. Busque hopes that TaskRabbit will “revolutionize the world’s labor force”; “It’s our job to deliver this platform and the resources and tools to do so.” She tells me that her ambitious plan for the company led to her taking on extra funding, “Let’s get this done now,” she remembers thinking about TaskRabbit’s future, “This is all about getting the right people in place and around the table.”
In February 2008, Leah Busque was headed out to dinner with her husband when she realized they were out of dog food. She had no idea that that simple need at that specific moment would eventually lead to her creating a business providing thousands of work opportunities. She registered for the domain name for TaskRabbit.com that night and four months later left her job as an IBM software engineer to start the San Francisco-based online tasks marketplace.
Everybody has a to-do list; most of us don't have time to check everything off. But what if you had help? Billed as the world's first "service-networking platform," TaskRabbit allows busy bees to outsource grocery shopping, laundry, even assembling Ikea furniture -- and trust the job will be done with care by a skilled neighbor. Never scream at a hex key again.
Received $13M Series C Funding
Participation Founders Fund, Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Shervin Pishevar, 500 Startups
TaskRabbit, the online marketplace that lets people outsource errands and small tasks to their neighbors, today will debut "Deliver Now," an extension of its iPhone app that lets users get on-demand delivery of anything within the city of San Francisco on weekdays between 9am and 7pm. Right now the delivery service will cost an introductory flat rate of $10, and the app lets you track the courier's progress and location in real-time.
Ever have to assemble IKEA furniture? It can be an incredibly frustrating time suck. But for someone with power tools who knows his way around fiberboard furnishings, putting together bookcases and beds can be a way to earn extra spending cash. San Francisco-based startup TaskRabbit is a marketplace for folks with little time and never-ending to-do lists and runners willing to help out for a price. The income earned ranges from task to task, but the average chore comes to about $45. Assignments run the gamut from grocery delivery to crafting a love letter to win back an ex-girlfriend. An iOS app lets users post, browse and manage tasks on the go.
It seems like those of us who run a business can't go five minutes without encountering the term "company culture." The phrase is always uttered with extreme adoration, yet the very concept seems as nebulous as it is elusive. I could use this column to chime in with my two cents about how to build an awesome culture, but I'd rather use it to tell you why I think investing in culture is worth it in the first place. Frankly, all this culture stuff can be pretty daunting for a busy entrepreneur. Since most startups operate at a break-neck pace, with a concept to prove or a product to launch within a rapidly shortening runway of financing, company culture often gets shoved aside. This is a big, big mistake: Nobody serious about their business should put culture in the corner.
It's something almost every entrepreneur worries about: bringing a terrific new product to market only to have a slew of competitors pop up and eat up your market share. Staying competitive and innovative in this type of scenario can be easier said than done. One person who knows a thing or two about keeping a business aggressive is Leah Busque, the 32-year-old founder of errand outsourcing service TaskRabbit. Since its launch in 2008, the company has faced heated competition from a number of new startups, but has kept pace by being relentlessly agile.
TaskRabbit, the online marketplace that lets people outsource small tasks and errands to others for negotiated fees, expanded operations into Austin, Texas this past week just in time for the South By Southwest Interactive conference.
It was Friday and it had been a long week. I was back in Boston after spending the last two weeks in Palo Alto, participating in the Facebook Fund program (fbFund). Over the past 12 weeks, in fact, I was flying back and forth between Boston and San Francisco, alternating weeks on each coast. My company TaskRabbit (RunMyErrand.com at the time) was up and running in Boston, and I was splitting my time between the two cities in order to get the most out of the fbFund incubator program while continuing to grow my business in Boston.
eBay for real world labor TaskRabbit has seen lightning fast growth in the past couple of months, and has taken advantage of that growth by raising another $17.8 million in Series B funding. Participating in the round are existing investors Shervin Pishevar, Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE Fund, Collaborative Fund and Shasta Ventures, in addition to new partners LightSpeed Ventures, Allen & Company, and Tornante Company, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner's new investment firm.
LeWeb 2011 Mobile Demo - Leah Busque, TaskRabbit
Received $17.8M Series B Funding
Participation Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE, Collaborative Fund, Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Allen & Company, The Tornante Company
That was the help-wanted note new mom Rachel Christenson posted a few weeks ago at online marketplace TaskRabbit Inc. Neither she nor her husband wanted the "gross" job of dealing with an overflowing compost bin, so she clicked her mouse in search of someone who would do her dirty work.
My colleague Jenna Wortham recently wrote about a number of companies that allow people to hire strangers to run errands. One of them was TaskRabbit, a San Francisco-based start-up. Earlier this week I sat down with Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, to find out what is next for the company.
Consumer task marketplace TaskRabbit is changing CEOs this morning, going from co-founder and IBM coder Leah Busque to former Hotwire CEO Eric Grosse.
One young woman, an experienced advertising director, stands in her kitchen preparing dinner for some college students. Meanwhile, a young man, who works as a professional construction worker, is hanging pictures on a wall for someone who is disabled. They could be anybody: lawyers, doctors, police officers. What do they all have in common? They're all TaskRabbits.
How TaskRabbit Works!
In the span of 36 hours, I cleaned out my closet, dropped off the unwanted threads at a thrift store, bought a pair of Beyoncé tickets, assembled an outdoor hammock, pinned down some leads on a new apartment and booked a deep-tissue massage to soothe a lingering case of whiplash.
In a corner of a Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan, a casting call of sorts took place for most of Tuesday afternoon. Two employees from TaskRabbit, a tech start-up, camped out around a laptop, welcoming a stream of visitors who wanted to get paid to run other people's errands.
TaskRabbit, the collaborative consumption service that allows you to post tasks and have other (vetted, background checked) people complete them within in a short amount of time has finally come to iOS this morning. In case you missed it, TaskRabbit is an ideal service for urban dwellers who are too busy to complete day-to-day tedium like build desks, pick up party platters or fold laundry for example — a perfect market fit for iPhone users, hence.
When Leah Busque was ready to head to dinner with her husband one wintry Boston night, she realized they almost forgot about Kobe, their dog. “We called a cab to pick us up, and we realized we were out of dog food,” Busque, 31, said. “We have a 100-pound dog, and we thought wouldn't it be nice if there were a place we could go online, have someone get the dog food and name the price we were willing to pay?”
Task management service TaskRabbit is announcing a raise of $5 million in Series A this morning, in addition to its already existing $1.8 million in seed and angel funding. The financing was lead by Shasta Ventures and followed on by First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, FLOODGATE, Collaborative Fund, 500 Startups and The Mesh author Lisa Gansky. In addition to the financing, Shasta Ventures' Sean Flynn will be joining TaskRabbit's Board of Directors.
Received $5M Series A Funding
Participation Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, FLOODGATE, Collaborative Fund, 500 Startups, Lisa Gansky
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TaskRabbit, the leading online crowdsourcing marketplace that taps into the power of the community to get everyday Tasks and errands done, celebrates the Year of the Rabbit by launching its RabbitRewards program.
So much for the war on Googler entitlement. Amid heated competition for engineers, Google is trying a remarkable new perk: free use of "runners" to clean apartments, take out trash, cook dinner, run errands—whatever is needed.
Life is busy. But if you don't have time to go to the bank, would you trust a stranger to deposit a check for you? Users of TaskRabbit, a network of part-time personal assistants, do.
Received $850k Seed Funding
Participation First Round Capital, Michael Powers Baseline Ventures, FLOODGATE
Received $1M Seed Funding
Participation Baseline Ventures, FLOODGATE, Shervin Pishevar
Received $25k Angel Funding