Ikea Buying TaskRabbit Startup

Richard Milne reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Ikea Group is making a rare high-profile acquisition, with the flat-pack furniture retailer buying TaskRabbit, the online marketplace for odd jobs.

“The world’s largest furniture retailer, with sales of €34bn, did not reveal the price it was paying for the US start-up, which matches freelance workers to jobs ranging from assembling Ikea wardrobes to helping people move house.

TaskRabbit is one of the most high-profile names of the so-called gig economy, but has failed to live up to its early promise. It has already been involved with Ikea in providing an assembly service in the UK and US, but the purchase is likely to deepen that relationship significantly.”

The FT article noted that, “The San Francisco-based company is understood to have 60,000 ‘independent contractors’ registered on its platform, but it is unclear how many are active. Ikea said TaskRabbit would remain an independent company. It is currently only available in the US and London but Ikea hinted it could be expanded into other countries.”

Mr. Milne added that, “The proliferation of platforms set up to support gig economy workers has been followed by retrenchment in the industry, as many have found it hard to generate enough business to sustain their marketplaces. The most prominent failures in the US have included Homejoy, a site for cleaners that raised $64m, and Sidecar, a pioneer of ride-sharing that was later overtaken by Uber and Lyft. Both closed in 2015.”

This entry was posted in Start-up Company Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.