IKEA buys TaskRabbit to give consumers relief with furniture assembly
Marking its first investment in the on-demand space, IKEA agreed to acquire the popular gig-economy startup, TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit, based in San Francisco, matches customers with “taskers” who can complete tasks such as housecleaning, plumbing, home repairs, errands, moving — and perhaps lending a hand with hard-to-assemble furniture manufactured by a certain Swedish retailer. Workers list their hourly rates for their services and TaskRabbit uses an algorithm to suggest candidates for each “gig.” It has 60 full-time employees, 60,000 Taskers and recently expanded to 40 cities around the U.S. and in London.
Operating as an independent company within the IKEA Group, TaskRabbit will continue its collaborations with other retailers, including one it already has with Amazon, as well as with commercial partners.
In late 2016, TaskRabbit began providing furniture assembly services for IKEA’s London stores. The acquisition promises to further those services. Terms weren’t disclosed.
“In a fast changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers’ lives a little bit easier. Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that,” said Jesper Brodin, president and CEO of IKEA Group, in a statement. “We will be able to learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise, while also providing IKEA customers additional ways to access flexible and affordable service solutions to meet the needs of today’s customer.”
TaskRabbit’s competitors include Amazon Home Services, Handy, Thumbtack, Porch and pro.com. For IKEA’s customers, TaskRabbitt may provide in-home installations and repair services similar to Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Sears’ Home Services and Innovel Solutions divisions.
Added Mr. Brodin, “As urbanization and digital transformation continue to challenge retail concepts we need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way. 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.”
- Ikea Group signs agreement to acquire TaskRabbit – IKEA
- Ikea has bought TaskRabbit – Recode
- Ikea Enters ‘Gig Economy’ by Acquiring TaskRabbit – The New York Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see IKEA gaining from its acquisition of TaskRabbit? Do you other ways retailers can take advantage of the sharing economy?