Nearly 16 years ago eBay was born. It was a crazy, yet simple idea – to create a marketplace for regular people to connect with other regular people and sell their unwanted stuff. No longer would you be limited to the small handful of people that showed up to your Sunday driveway sale. Instead you could sell your goods to anyone in the world with an internet connection. As you know, this marketplace worked like magic. Turns out that my unwanted stuff is actually gold to someone else out there in the world. I just needed a fast and efficient way to find them. So you have a broken laser pointer? No problem, we’ll connect you with the one person in the world that collects broken laser pointers. Magic!
Today I believe we’re on the precipice of seeing a similar transformation for the local service economy. Many regular people in our communities have very special talents, but have no one to share them with. There’s the young professional that loves gardening, but doesn’t have a backyard. There’s the retiree that that loves fixing car engines, but doesn’t have a car of his own. And there’s the stay-at-home mom that loves to keep her graphic design skills up to snuff, but can’t do it full time while also raising a family. Likewise, there are regular people out there that need these same services, but in all likelihood they’d walk right past each other in the aisle of a grocery store and never know that they were the perfect match for each other.
Nearly three years ago Leah Busque started TaskRabbit. Like eBay, it was a crazy, yet simple idea – to create a marketplace for regular people to get the services they need by connecting with other regular people best equipped to help them. Three years later the marketplace is changing the world. Stranded drivers can find others with jumper cables in just minutes even during the middle of the night. Flower businesses can get the extra delivery help they need on Valentine’s Day to keep their customers happy. And families of hospital patients across the country can find caring surrogate families to provide a favorite meal and friendly conversation. But this is just the start. eBay started with Pez dispensers and later found themselves selling cars. Likewise, TaskRabbit has only scratched the surface of what it can become as a platform. I personally can’t wait to see what we’ll see five years from now. Given the creativity and ingenuity of our communities I know it’s going to be some pretty cool stuff!
Of course none of this happens without an amazing team to pull it off. I’ve had the pleasure of spending lots of time with Leah, Brian, Victor, Jamie and M.T. over the last few months and I can’t imagine a team better suited to creating this magical marketplace. Their passion is palpable, their execution is world class, their enthusiasm is infectious, and their commitment is truly admirable. Venture investors often argue about what is more important: a great team or a big market? I hate it when this argument comes up. I want my cake and to eat it too! And now that our recent investment has been announced, it’s awesome to know we didn’t have to compromise on either. Leah and team – we’re thrilled to join you on what will undoubtedly be an amazing ride.