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Boston-Born Gig Economy Pioneer TaskRabbit Sold To Ikea

Ikea said that it is buying online on-demand services platform TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean up the house or assemble furniture. Ikea says it offered TaskRabbit services in its stores in London in 2016 and plans to roll out the service in U.S. stores and more U.K. locations. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
Ikea said that it is buying online on-demand services platform TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean up the house or assemble furniture. Ikea says it offered TaskRabbit services in its stores in London in 2016 and plans to roll out the service in U.S. stores and more U.K. locations. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
This article is more than 1 year old.

Retail giant Ikea bought San Francisco-based gig-economy pioneer TaskRabbit, the Swedish mega-retailer said in a statement Thursday.

TaskRabbit, which launched in Boston in 2008, will continue to operate as an independent company, Ikea said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The news comes after reports earlier this year that TaskRabbit was exploring a sale.

The deal came together as TaskRabbit was “was in the process of raising another round of funding,” according to Recode, which first reported news of the sale.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch served as advisers to the 60-person company that has more than 60,000 people using its service, Recode wrote.

TaskRabbit lets users hire people for on-demand jobs such as packing and moving, cleaning, home improvements and more.

Ikea cited the fast-changing retail environment as the spark for its interest in entering the on-demand economy by buying TaskRabbit.

“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,” Jesper Brodin, president and CEO of Ikea Group, said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in October. Ikea said TaskRabbit “will continue to partner with other retailers and commercial partners.”

Ikea alone offers a large footprint to TaskRabbit: Ikea has 357 stores in 29 countries.

“With IKEA Group ownership, TaskRabbit could realize even greater opportunities; increasing earning potential of Taskers and connecting consumers to a wide range of affordable services,” Stacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit CEO, said in a statement.

This story comes via a partnership with the Boston Business Journal, and was first published by the San Francisco Business Times. 

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