We’re thrilled to announce that as part of our global growth plans, we’ve acquired Kansas City-based Zaarly, and launched a $AU20.7m/$US16 million capital raise to fund the purchase and accelerate our US expansion so we can deliver more value to our community.
The acquisition will help us launch Airtasker in the US – a US$500 billion local services market – so we can build a trusted local services marketplace that inspires people to earn and to get more done.
You’ve probably heard of Zaarly before but in case you need us to jog your memory, Zaarly was founded back in 2011 and was a leader in the home services industry. They were also backed by some pretty notable investors including Kleiner Perkins, Ashton Kutcher and Michael Arrington
So why did Airtasker acquire Zaarly?
The $2.6 million acquisition represents an opportunity for Zaarly to return to its roots and original vision of supporting small businesses in a horizontal marketplace (as opposed to their curated model where they previously specialised in home services).
While the pivot to a curated marketplace model allowed Zaarly to generate a loyal base of repeat customers in Kansas City, it was unable to scale and they had plans to shutter the company in April 2021, and that’s where Airtasker came in.
The US expansion will be led by Zaarly founder, Bo Fishback, who joins Airtasker as US CEO, along with Zaarly’s highly experienced team of product, engineering and marketplace operations experts.
Fishback said Airtasker’s acquisition is an exciting next chapter in Zaarly’s journey: “Going back to our roots as an open marketplace model opens up huge potential for growth across local service categories, and new opportunities for Americans to monetize their skills.”
For Airtasker, acquiring Zaarly means we can jump-start our growth in the US and deliver on our promise of connecting people who need work done with those who are ready to work, and it means we can do it faster. There are three key benefits:
- Marketplace liquidity: Airtasker welcomes Zaarly’s engaged community of verified service providers and users, which means we can provide a quality service with adequate supply and demand within the marketplace.
- Re-booking functionality: Zaarly’s re-booking feature will be integrated into the Airtasker marketplace which allows you to easily re-book a Tasker or Pro you’ve worked with previously. It also makes it easier for you to facilitate regular tasks.
- Highly experienced US team: A small group of Zaarly’s marketplace operations, marketing and product specialists join the Airtasker team. It’s a huge win!
Co-founder of Airtasker and CEO, Tim Fung, said:
“With a united vision of job creation, we’re extremely excited to work with the Zaarly team by bringing Airtasker’s offering to the US market.
“We’re excited to bring Airtasker’s expertise in local services to the US market, and expand opportunities for local service providers, together with Bo and an awesome team of experienced marketplace experts.
“We’ll also be innovating and improving our product so we can deliver more value to our customers and encourage more users to the platform.
“Empowering people to realise the full value of their skills is relevant on a global scale. Around the world, economies need to bounce back and we believe that with this acquisition and investment round, we can have a truly positive impact on the future of work.”
What will the acquisition involve (and how will it work)?
As part of the acquisition, we’ll onboard Zaarly’s engaged community of 900+ verified service providers and 597,000+ registered users which means you’ll have access to a skilled and diverse marketplace of both Posters and Taskers.
In time, we’ll also be integrating some of Zaarly’s product features into the Airtasker marketplace, including the re-booking functionality, which means if you find a Tasker that does an awesome job – you’ll be able to re-book them more easily! Stay tuned – there’s more to come on how this will actually work and when it will be rolled out.
What does it mean for me?
If you’re a Poster, the acquisition means you’ll have access to Zaarly’s licensed and onboarded service providers across 40+ home service categories. So whether you’re searching for a landscaper or a costume designer, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing a quality pro will get the job done.
Similarly, if you’re a Tasker or Pro it means you’re part of a larger community of verified and registered users and with more demand comes more earning opportunities.
For both Posters and Taskers, you’ll have access to more product features as we look to enhance your marketplace experience. For customers, the re-booking functionality means you can contact Taskers you’ve worked with previously to facilitate long-term relationships, while for Taskers it allows you to upsell and unlock greater earning opportunities.
Which city-level markets will Airtasker offer its services?
While many tasks outside the home service categories can be completed online, we’ll focus on the Dallas and Kansas City markets to begin with. We’re still working out our US roadmap, but we plan to launch in a new city market this year, so watch this space!