TaskRabbit announces it will expand into the UK, at Le Web London 2013.
Submitted by James Silver on June 6, 2013
Founder and CEO of TaskRabbit, Leah Busque, revealed at Le Web London June 5 that the neighborhood errands and small jobs P2P marketplace will be launching in London imminently.
The idea for TaskRabbit was born in February 2008, when Busque, now 33, and her husband were sitting in their Boston apartment, getting ready to go out for dinner on a snowy night, when they realised they had run out of dog food. At dinner, the conversation turned to the viability of an online marketplace, where a person wanting dog-food could offer a fee for running the errand and connect with someone else nearby, perhaps even in the store at that precise moment, who was willing to do it.
Busque, then a software engineer at IBM, quit her job to build the first version of the website, just as the financial crisis and recession swirled around her. “I’d just left my cushy job at IBM and I was thinking, what did I just do?” She added: “But it turned out that there was so many people who were unemployed or looking for work, or in between jobs – [and they were] teachers, pharmacists and lawyers – that we were really excited about the community we were launching.”
At the time, Busque said she noticed three trends — social media, location-based technology and smart-phones — come to the fore simultaneously. Together they offered transformational possibilities. “What was really compelling to me was there had to be away to use these technologies to connect people not only online but also in the real world, to get real things done,” she said.
Fast-forward to 2013 and there are TaskRabbits – who are earning “up to $10,000 a month, doing it full time”, she said. B2B service TaskRabbit for Business has also been launched.
“We have the opportunity to disrupt the labor industry on a global scale,” said Busque. The TaskRabbit movement’s rollout to London will be the first real test of that claim.