• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business

    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?

    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions

    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5

    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • News, Startups - Written by on Monday, April 23, 2012 12:03 - 3 Comments

    Airtasker startup wins $1.5m in funding

    news Australian startup Airtasker has secured $1.5 million in funding, according to a media release issued last week by the company.

    Airtasker founder and CEO, Tim Fung said that this fresh round of cash injection would be utilised to hire engineers to further enhance the website’s functionality, to add premium user profiles, improve messaging systems and to install new safety mechanisms around the site. In addition, Airtasker aims to use the newly acquired funds to improve its mobile capabilities with GPS integration and an Android app.

    Airtasker raised this capital within months of its launch in Sydney. The company is set to commence operations in Melbourne later this month, with further nationwide expansion set to follow shortly.

    Airtasker, the brainchild of web entrepreneurs Fung and Jonathan Lui, is based on collaborative consumption – a concept fast gaining ground where community members share resources directly with each other online, including holiday accommodation (like AirBnB) and car rentals (like Zimride). Airtasker is pitched as a social marketplace where people can outsource everyday tasks to reliable ‘runners.’ The company’s mission is to connect people who need home errands and handyman jobs done, with people who want to earn some extra cash doing these errands and tasks in their local community.

    The two-person company raised an initial $140,000 seed funding from internet investors and entrepreneurs and this was sufficient to build a website and kick-start the online community marketplace in February 2012. The new round has come from local investment house Bridge Lane Capital and others, although Airtasker wasn’t prepared to disclose the other investors.

    Airtasker’s business model is to charge a small fee ($2 plus 5 per cent of task value) to the ‘runner’ when a task is completed while it’s totally free to post a task with no added fees for getting a task done. On the pricing, Fung maintains that they wanted to make the business model a winning proposition for everyone in the community. He said: “This way we’re totally aligned with our community members as we only ever make money when they make money.”

    Hundreds of tasks were posted in the first few weeks of Airtasker’s launch and scores of people joined the Airtasker community. Last month, as part of a publicity stunt, Airtasker was in the news when one of its runners camped outside the Apple store for five days to line up for the first iPad from Apple’s flagship Sydney store.

    According to Fung, Airtasker’s dual priorities currently include maintaining the tempo of continuous and swift expansion of the company’s capabilities and audience. He said, “If we keep our users happy, then we know the community will continue to grow as word-of-mouth has driven our growth to-date.” He reiterated that Airtasker was working on spreading the word to educate Aussies about how they could improve their lives or businesses by outsourcing mundane chores and errands.

    To be honest, I feel that the amount of money invested in Airtasker is too high, given the fact that the company’s business model just does not see it making much money at the moment.

    If you look at Airtasker’s front page, the jobs posted so far cost between $25 and $50 each. That would mean, for a $50 job, that Airtasker would make $2 worth of flat fees, plus five percent of $50 — for a total of $4.5 per job. And on $25 jobs, for example, it would make even less. Sure, there are some tasks which are larger, but they’re not that much larger — I saw a few at $250 (which would net Airtasker $14.5 in fees and some at $500, which would net the company $27 in fees.

    In order to meet the right levels of scale to justify the huge levels of capital invested in it, Airtasker will need to start reaching many, many cities globally, and achieving high levels of uptake. It will need to go viral. And the nature of such Web 2.0 startup platforms is if they don’t go viral quickly, they often don’t go viral in the long term.

    It seems like in Airtasker’s case, the company’s early success, with having quite a few Sydney jobs posted on its site, combined with its founders’ history in raising capital, have combined in order to net it a large early stage investment. And of course, it is a very positive signal for Australia’s startup ecosystem that such amounts are being raised locally. But to my mind, Airtasker has a lot to prove yet before I would judge that investment worthy. I’ve seen far more promising Australian startups struggle to raise anything like this amount. If Airtasker succeeds wildly, I will be the first to eat my words. But until then, call me a cynic.

    Image credit: Airtasker. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay.

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Simon Reidy
      Posted 23/04/2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

      That is a shitload of money for a startup! Its a pretty cool idea and best of luck to them, but I agree that’s a hell of an investment. Sounds like there’s quite a few investors with various equities at stake, who will all expect a return in their lifetime. Makes me nervous just thinking about it.

    2. Posted 23/04/2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

      But it also goes to show how collaborative consumption has really taken off. people dealing with people is no longer just a good idea, its reality, and its great we can trust each other once again.

      We’re doing the same with sharemystorage.com; where people with spare space allow people looking for storage space to store.

    3. Douglas
      Posted 26/04/2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink |

      Yeah, you’d have to think with their current business model the payback period on $1.5M is going to be bloody long!

      Maybe their strategy is to build up a user base, add some advertising and flog it off.

      Very similar concept to taskrabbit in the US, and taskbox in AU.


    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

  • Most Popular Content

  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Greens claim NSW LMBR project turning into a disaster sydney

      The NSW Greens late last week claimed to have obtained documents showing that the NSW Department of Education and Communities’ wide-ranging Learning Management and Business Reform program, which involves a number of rolling upgrades of business administration software, was deployed before it was ready, with “appalling consequences for administrative staff, principals, teachers and students”.

    • NSW Govt trials inter-truck safety devices trucks-cohda

      The New South Wales Government has inked a contract with connected vehicle technology supplier Cohda Wireless, as part of a trial of so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) which allow heavy vehicles to communicate directly with each other about their position on the road to help reduce road accidents.

    • Victoria finally kills $180m Ultranet disaster thumbsdown1

      The Victorian Government has reportedly terminated its disastrous Ultranet schools portal, which ballooned in cost to $180 million over the past seven years but ended up being barely used by the education stakeholders it was supposed to serve.

    • NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal turbosmart

      Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

  • Enterprise IT, News - Apr 23, 2014 15:58 - 0 Comments

    Greens claim NSW LMBR project turning into a disaster

    More In Enterprise IT

    Analysis, Telecommunications - Apr 23, 2014 12:04 - 6 Comments

    Neither AT&T nor Turnbull are telling the whole truth

    More In Telecommunications

    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 1 Comment

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Apr 23, 2014 12:57 - 22 Comments

    Cinema execs blame piracy for $20 ticket prices

    More In Digital Rights