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Airtasker to expand to UK after raising over $33 million

October 11, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Airtasker is expanding to the UK after raising over $33 million from investors including Seven West Media, Skyfield Capital, Exto Partners, Morning Crest Capital and Black Sheep Capital.

The move comes on the back of an action-packed year for Airtasker which included the creation of the world’s first income protection insurance for Airtasker Workers, strategic partnerships with global brands like IKEA and eBay, and an increased focus on marketplace trust through badges including Australia Post’s new Digital iD Badge and trade licenses badges.

Airtasker CEO, Tim Fung, said the UK was the right destination for Airtasker’s first overseas move.

“Our research indicates UK customers share similar attitudes to Australians when it come to trust in the community and getting things done. London obviously provides massive urban scale and hasn’t seen as many potentially unsustainable vertical service companies compared to say New York or Shanghai.”

Fung added that while Airtasker is expanding into a new market, there are still extensive growth plans for Australia.

“We’re only just scratching the surface of the Australian market and estimate we’re about 0.1 per cent of the way towards our overall market potential.”

“We could absolutely bunker down in Australia but we love a challenge, and there’s no time like the present. So we’ve decided to take the same approach as we did with launching in Australia – take the plunge and then learn how to fly again. But this time we’ll be able to apply the knowledge we’ve spent the last 5 years building.”

“Mr London” appointed new country manager

The UK launch of Airtasker will be headed up by Lucas London. Mr London has significant UK startup industry experience with senior management, advisory and mentoring roles with brands like Yubl, Feast It and Virgin StartUp as well as investment experience having spent 5 years at UK based hedge fund Clareville Capital.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Airtasker team and really believe in the mission – to empower people to realise the value of their skills. London is absolutely screaming for a local, open community platform like Airtasker and whilst launching in the UK will be a huge amount of work, there’s a massive opportunity ahead of us. I am absolutely thrilled to be leading on-the-ground in the UK and having a positive impact on the future of work.”

On the new appointment, Fung said: “Following an extensive on-the-ground search, we’re super pumped to have Mr London on board. In our experience, hunger, grit, and hustle are essential ingredients for leading a new startup – and Lucas demonstrated this in spades, jumping on a plane to Sydney for a two-month long stint the day after joining the team.”

Mr Fung also adds that a number of Airtasker’s Australian team members will be moving to London to spearhead the growth of the marketplace as well as spreading the Aussie Airtasker culture – critical given the parallels between the company’s workplace and community culture.

“We’re really committed to the UK market expansion and believe it’s incredibly important to cross-pollinate aspects of the UK and Aussie local flavours, while ensuring that ultimately the Airtasker culture shines through on a global scale.”

All major shareholders sign on for the next stage of growth

All current major shareholders participated in the $33m round, including Seven West Media, Exto Partners, Morning Crest Capital and Black Sheep Capital. Skyfield Capital has also invested and managing director Tyler Tan will become an Airtasker director.

Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner said his company has taken more than its allocation in the latest raise, reflecting a growing confidence in Airtasker’s future.

“Airtasker’s potential is only getting stronger and we’ll continue to enhance its brand and user base with the full weight of Seven West Media’s assets behind it.”

“We’re well known for being active and opportunistic in the market when it comes to technology businesses with disruptive models. We look for great ideas being executed by great people. Airtasker is proving again and again that it has the right model, people and culture to fundamentally reshape the flexible work economy to the benefit of all stakeholders.”“These qualities will hold it in good stead as it heads to the UK. We’re very pleased with Airtasker’s progression under Tim’s leadership and fully supportive of management’s direction.”

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