No Allen Key Needed: Ikea is Buying TaskRabbit

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One does not simply assemble Ikea furniture—but TaskRabbit can.

The Swedish furniture giant has announced its plan to acquire the on-demand handyman TaskRabbit. The San Francisco-based digital service platform allows customers to request a ‘Tasker’ to assemble furniture as well as other general handiwork including hanging artwork, moving furniture and other home improvement tasks.

“In a fast-changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers’ lives a little bit easier. Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that,” said Ikea Group CEO Jesper Brodin in a release.

“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.”

Taskers are currently serving 40 cities in the U.S. and London, U.K. The tentative acquisition follows a pilot run last November where Taskers offered furniture-assembly service to Ikea customers in the retailer’s London-based stores.

“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,” said Stacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit CEO.

Although the on-demand help will only be offered to customers in the U.S. and the U.K. cities where TaskRabbit operates, Ikea said that other countries and cities may be added at a later date.

“As urbanization and digital transformation continue to challenge retail concepts we need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way,” said Brodin. “An acquisition of TaskRabbit would be an exciting leap in this transformation and allows us to move forward with an even greater focus on innovation and development to meet changing customer needs.”

The deal is expected to close in October and allows TaskRabbit to remain independent and partner with other retailers if they wish. Ikea Group owns and operates 357 Ikea stores in 29 countries in addition to its e-commerce store that hits two billion visits annually. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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