Lest IKEA customers spend precious weekends and vacation days assembling cheap furniture based on wordless instructions, the company has announced it will buy San Francisco-based on-demand task-doer service TaskRabbit, i.e. the Uber for handymen and those well versed in assembling IKEA wall units.
The company has about 60 employees but more than 60,000 independent contractors on the platform, all of whom set their own hourly rates for various tasks from picture-hanging, to house-cleaning, to moving assistance.
Ikea, which describes itself as the "world's largest home funishing retailer, said in a press release that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of shares for TaskRabbit, Inc". In addition to supporting consumers and IKEA customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, other countries may be added at a later date.
Ikea said it "continuously strives to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers' lives a little bit easier".
"We are excited to see Taskers leverage their years of experience and exceptional reviews on the TaskRabbit platform into new opportunities to help Amazon customers with their handyman services needs", said Leah Busque, founder and CEO of TaskRabbit. In the communities in which we operate, TaskRabbit provides strong economic impact. As such, TaskRabbit will continue to partner with other retailers and commercial partners in this capacity. TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and her 60-person staff will remain with the company. It already has an augmented reality app for iOS, Ikea Place, which allows shoppers to virtually preview how its products will look and fit in one's home. 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.