Furniture retail group Ikea has acquired TaskRabbit, one of the biggest 'gig economy' apps.
TaskRabbit's platforms connects people with freelance workers to help them complete everyday tasks like handyman work, moving and packing, and – vitally – furniture assembly. Last November, Ikea started a pilot with TaskRabbit in its London stores, which connected customers with 'Taskers' to put together their purchases.
As well as London, TaskRabbit currently operates in 40 cities around the US. Ikea plans to integrate the service in these locations initially, before potentially expanding TaskRabbit to further markets.
The transaction is expected to close in October, after which TaskRabbit will operate as an independent company within the IKEA Group – meaning it will continue to partner with retailers other than Ikea – from its current headquarters in San Francisco.
“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,” says Ikea Group CEO Jesper Brodin. “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.”