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Ikea Buys TaskRabbit to Help Build Its Furniture

30 September 2017

In a match made in DIY furniture heaven, Ikea Group has bought on-demand services site TaskRabbit, the Swedish company announced Thursday. Ikea brings TaskRabbit's teams of freelance "taskers" without the fixed costs of full time hires, while TaskRabbit benefits from Ikea's large, and global, scale. Ikea says it offered TaskRabbit services in its stores in London previous year and plans to roll out the service in USA stores and more United Kingdom locations. "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". After all, TaskRabbit's website advertises "assembling IKEA furniture" as one of the tasks its workers can perform.

The Wall Street Journal's Saabira Chaudhuri and Eliot Brown report that "documents related to a financing round from 2015 suggest TaskRabbit then had a valuation of about $50 million", which they characterize as "pocket money" for Ikea in a deal that "represents a bigger strategic tack". TaskRabbit, which has about 60 direct employees and more than 60,000 workers using its platform, will remain independent of IKEA. "Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that", Ikea chief Jesper Brodin said in a statement.

TaskRabbit connects its users with skilled "Taskers" who can perform activities like furniture assembly, moving and packing, general handyman work and home improvements. The company recently expanded to 40 cities around the United States as well as London.

Those Ikea cabinet assembly instructions giving you fits?

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For that reason, Ikea's acquisition is a good reminder for other retailers of the importance of customer experience today, and of the fact that customer experience continues beyond a customer completing a purchase and receiving their package or leaving the store with product in hand.

Brown-Philpot told Recode the deal is "opportunistic" for them, and she has previously said that the company was already cash-flow positive in its cities and nearing profitability overall. Depending on the outcome of the lawsuit Lawson v. Grubhub, now underway in San Francisco, TaskRabbit and Ikea may soon have to shell out big money to provide their Malm-assemblers with health insurance and unemployment.

The company was founded by Leah Busque in 2008.

Ikea Buys TaskRabbit to Help Build Its Furniture