‘Physical’ outsourcing start-up Airtasker mulls overseas expansion

Airtasker expands to Perth and Brisbane

In its first six months since opening its doors to the public, Australian start-up Airtasker has managed to build a solid user base and expanded from Sydney to offering its locally based form of outsourcing for mundane tasks in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

Airtasker lets ‘Senders’ set tasks — grocery shopping, house cleaning or buying coffee for an office, for example — which can then be bid upon by ‘Runners’. Senders set a bounty of up to up to $1000 for a task, and can select Runners based on their reputation.

In the first 90 days after offering public access to Airtasker in February, 12,000 people signed up to the site. Co-founder and CEO Tim Fung said that in the last couple of months the service had witnessed user base growth in the region of 30 per cent. “We’re really seeing the big growth coming from [Sydney and Melbourne] but we do also now have our service in Brisbane and Perth and we’re really building up our quality runner base there,” Fung said.

“Our user base is definitely repeat purchasers,” Fung said. “It’s a community marketplace. It’s all about people coming back time and time again. On our Runner side we’ve got Runners who have run over 20 jobs. We’ve got guys earning thousands per month on the site; we had one guy in Melbourne earn a couple of grand in one single month and we’ve only been open there a couple of months.”

The service is eyeing opportunities to expand to a number of Asian cities. “We see some key markets in Singapore and Hong Kong,” Fung said.

Airtasker is also looking at geographically segmenting its database further to better connect Runners with people who have tasks to perform. Since it went live, Airtasker has also adapted its interface to divide tasks into categories. That decision was based on analysing what tasks people were primarily posting, with the biggest categories being housecleaning, deliveries and IT help.

“When we first launched we just had this one open sort of Google box saying ‘What do you need done?’ and people could post whatever they wanted,” Fung said.

Use of the service by small businesses is also rising. “They’re using us for things like data entry, flyer dropping and interviewees for surveys, user testing of products and stuff. We’re really starting to see some clear trends on what’s getting posted up.”

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