Tech solutions for speed and scale in a marketplace world
Mundane tasks can be a thing of the past for busy Australians, thanks to technology making it possible to outsource the smallest or biggest of jobs.
A marketplace for connecting people who need tasks done with people willing to do those jobs (everything from painting, to mowing, to moving, or queuing up for the newest iPhone), Airtasker is proving a winner for both the time poor and those wanting to exchange their skills for income.
The platform now boasts over 1.8 million members, up from 950,000 in January 2017. It features 1.4 million tasks per year – worth over $240 million – with removalists, cleaning, gardening, handiwork and pick-up/delivery the most popular tasks in 2017.
“Airtasker gets things done,” says Adrian Letchford senior data scientist at Airtasker. The Australian company’s mission statement is ‘Empowering people to realise the full value of their skills’. “We do a lot of the basics like cleaning, but we also do a lot of the weird and wonderful,” he says. “One of our tasks was an offer of $1,000 to fly a pair of gold sunglasses to Paris and deliver them by hand at a big show.”
While the back-end may be complex, Airtasker’s proposition is simple. It’s free to post a task. The poster then sets a budget and will receive offers from ‘Taskers’ (those who can complete tasks for others within the Airtasker community).
The company now employs 140 people across Sydney, Manila and, London but Airtasker’s story started out with a guy and a meat truck. This ‘guy’ is Tim Fung, who along with Jonathan Lui founded Airtasker in 2012.
“Tim was moving house, which can be stressful, complicated and expensive,” Letchford explains. “ To save money, he rang a friend who has meat truck. They piled everything into meat truck and moved and in this idea of asking someone for help, Airtasker was born.
We’ve been around for about six years now, and growing four times year on year.”