Airtasker acquired US-based local services marketplace Zaarly today and launched an £11.3m capital raise to fund the purchase and accelerate expansion in the US and UK.
The £1.9m acquisition will see Airtasker leverage Zaarly’s engaged community of 900+ verified and onboarded service providers and 597,000+ registered users.
Airtasker will also acquire and integrate Zaarly’s product features while a highly experienced team of marketplace experts will join the Airtasker team, led by serial entrepreneur and Zaarly founder Bo Fishback.
Founded in 2011, Zaarly was backed by notable investors including Kleiner Perkins, Ashton Kutcher and Michael Arrington. In a pre-launch investment round, Zaarly raised US$15m with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman joining its board of directors.
Airtasker CEO Tim Fung says the acquisition represents a massive growth opportunity: “Onboarding Zaarly’s community to the Airtasker marketplace will allow us to jump start marketplace liquidity, so we can accelerate expansion and deliver on our promise of connecting people who need work done with those who are ready to work.
“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’ll also be ramping up our presence in the UK by investing in growth marketing via paid marketing, PR and SEO initiatives and continually improving our product so we can encourage more users to the platform and continue to create more job opportunities.
“Empowering people to realise the full value of their skills is highly 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.”
Fishback said the acquisition will unlock growth across local service categories more widely across the US: “Ten years ago, Zaarly changed the landscape for local service marketplaces in the US and I’m incredibly proud of what the team achieved and learnt along the way. Today, we join Airtasker to expand our services across the US and I’m delighted to enter this new chapter in our journey.
“Going back to our roots as an open marketplace model unlocks huge growth potential across local service categories, and new ways for people to monetise their skills.”
This is the first acquisition since Airtasker listed on the ASX in March 2021, and follows its global expansion into the UK, US, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore.