With so many errands to run and so few hours in the day, many people turn to outsourcing marketplaces to offer strangers a nominal fee to do their dirty work. One such online service matching up busy people with those willing to take on individual tasks, TaskRabbit, has just announced that it cinches its Series C round of funding to the tune of $13 million. This round comes just seven short months after the $17.8 million Series B round closed in December.
This injection of funding was led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and brings the company's grand total of VC support to $38 million -- from various investors such as Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Shervin Pishevar, and 500 Startups.
As part of the round, Founders Fund partner Bruce Gibney and current Trunk Club COO Rob Chesney will be joining the TaskRabbit board.
Founder and recently reinstated TaskRabbit CEO Leah Busque has here sights on international growth in the near future, which would add to the metro-centric approach the company has taken, with current locations including Boston, Austin, Chicago, LA, Orange County, New York City, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle and San Francisco.
With so many people underemployed around the country, there is a demand for matching people up with work-on-demand.
The average unemployment rate in the U.S. hovers around 8.2%, and more people look for services that can help them bridge the gap they are seeing and empower them to pick up extra work when they need it.
While TaskRabbit continues to attract funding from big VC firms, the addition of so many companies to this work-for-hire space and the fact that the Series C round was significantly less than the Series B round does raise a few red flags that TaskRabbit may need to be more innovative and show its veteran strength in the coming months.
How TaskRabbit works
Once a user creates a profile, then they can post a task that they want to hire help to get done. Tasks that can be posted for TaskRabbits can range from be picking up dry cleaning, organizing your closet, wrapping gifts or bus tables at your wedding.
TaskRabbit has a community of "TaskRabbits" that have gone through background checks and will bid on your task. If you have set a range and preferences, then the lowest bidder that meets your preferences will win the bid.
You can pay your "TaskRabbit" conveniently online so you don't even need to run to the store for cash.
TaskRabbit has operations in Boston, San Francisco, New York CIty, Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland and Seattle.
Over the summer, TaskRabbit also released a free iPhone app that lets users post a task on the go.
TaskRabbit is in the same space as companies My Girl Friday, Done, Exec, Do My Stuff, Who Can Help, Zaarly, Postmates and Gigboard.
Just last month, TaskRabbit announced a new service that focuses on delivering goods to your home. If you live within San Francisco, you can request to have anything delivered right to your doorstep for an introductory flat rate of $10. Once you place your order, it’s automatically assigned to one of the 500 “taskrabbits” in San Francisco. The feature even allows you to track your delivery on your phone.
The on-demand delivery service is an extension of TaskRabbit’s iPhone app. Simply launch the app, tap the Deliver Now feature, and post your delivery need. There are a couple of caveats—the Deliver Now feature is only available Monday through Friday from 9am to 7pm.
And the on-demand Deliver Now feature isn’t just limited to food orders. You can also request a delivery for diapers, prescriptions, books, a birthday card, and more.
Since delivering goods was one of the three top requests on the site, the company saw a need to create a whole service category around it.