Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group has quite a reputation for sleek, good-looking furniture that can sometimes be hard to assemble. Of course, when you are saving money by purchasing the pieces disassembled and in a box—and doing the building at home—this is often something you are willing to overlook.
Still, it can be frustrating for some to have to perform work that might be unfamiliar.
It seems that Ikea understands this as the company has just bought the contract labor innovator TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit, of course, is an online database and marketplace serving to connect independent contract workers who are willing and/or able to perform just about any type of odd job you can think of, in a domestic capacity. The odd job marketplace had already partnered with Ikea for the purpose of furniture assembly, in the United Kingdom and has also marketed its own workers for the same purpose in the United States.
In addition to this, though, TaskRabbit could build on top of Ikea’s present customer service base by supplementing new tech capabilities. This will be very important as Amazon continues to branch back out into the physical world to combine tactile services with technological advancements.
According to Ikea 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.”
As of right now, the amount of the deal has not been disclosed but we do know a few things. First of all, we know that TaskRabbit will remain a company (not fully absorbed), operating as an independent subsidiary under the Ikea umbrella. In conjunction to this, Stacy Brown-Philpot will remain as CEO. We also know that TaskRabbit has been able to raise nearly $40 million in venture capital (from firms like Founders Fund and Shasta Ventures) leading to this point.
TaskRabbit, of course, is one of the best-known startups of the new “gig” economy, and a leader in the contract labor industry. From handymen to assistants to movers to painters, the company employees about five dozen people who process more than 60,000 independent workers who use the platform every week.