TaskRabbit, the contract labor marketplace startup known and loved within the gig economy, has been purchased by Swedish home goods giant Ikea. TaskRabbit will become an independent subsidiary within Ikea, according to CNBC.
The startup helps freelance workers find one-time gigs to perform — anything from handyman jobs to movers to assistants. Since its founding nine years ago, TaskRabbit has raised around $50 million and has just turned profitable. The Ikea deal will add capital to the company, sources told CNBC, though it was not clear how much Ikea paid for the acquisition.
The smaller startup is not the only one benefiting from this agreement. Ikea has been looking for ways to boost its digital customer service capabilities, as Amazon and other digital-first rivals are stepping up their game in terms of home goods and installation.
Between Ikea’s recent shift to electric car transportation and infrastructure at its 389 retail locations and the release of its new augmented reality app Ikea Place, which lets customers virtually try out furniture pieces in their homes, it’s clear that the push toward digital has become a priority for the company.
In the U.K., Ikea and TaskRabbit have already struck a pilot partnership, offering help with furniture assembly. This service has been marketed elsewhere as well, including the U.S., but now with the formal partnership, the companies will be pushing forward with the offer to help put together items after customers have purchased them.
And honestly, with Ikea’s reasonable prices and clean, chic style, the worst thing about its products is putting them together. The internet is full of comics and memes making fun of the company’s unhelpful assembly diagrams, signaling that the service will surely find a welcoming market.
As an independent subsidiary, TaskRabbit will retain its existing leadership and staff, including CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot.