Once upon a time in a real-time peer-to-peer marketplace, an auction-based website for local skills met an auction-based platform for local tasks, fell in love and got acquired! At least that’s how TaskRabbit and SkillSlate might tell it to their grandkids. That is if this outsourcing your dirty work business catches on.
This morning, TaskRabbit, the San Francisco-based company that helps users find nearby “Rabbits” to do unwanted tasks officially announced that it had acquired SkillSlate, a New York-based company that helps users find people with skills they need, such as fire breathing and personal chefery. Combined they hope to form a national “service network.”
Neither startup is currently disclosing the acquisition price. But reached by email earlier this morning, SkillSlate co-founder and CEO Bartek Ringwelski told us: “Let’s just say the last few months have been busy. I think I may even have hinted about consolidation in the market when we talked a couple months ago :-)”
Betabeat spoke to a source who said that SkillSlate had also reached out to “a few other companies looking to feel this path out.” The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was likely for a smaller price and possibly more of an acqui-hire: “it was as much about picking up some talent as anything else.”
According to TaskRabbit, Mr. Ringwelski will join the company as director of financial planning and analysis and SkillSlate’s Brian Rothenberg, co-founder and VP of product & marketing, will come on board as director of online marketing. Mike Nelson, SkillSlate’s CTO, is the newest member of TaskRabbit’s engineering team.
Betabeat wishes we could take credit for this blessed union, considering that we included both startups in a feature about the rise of the convenience economy. But it’s a natural fit, especially considering both startups crowdsource service providers and like to position themselves as micro-job creation engines for America’s underemployed. Besides, TaskRabbit, which picked up $17.8 million in funding last month, had money to spend and momentum to fuel to keep up with it’s largest competitor, Zaarly, which also picked up $14.1 million in October after launching in February and now wants to help promote small businesses within the auction format.
In a blog post this morning, TaskRabbit wrote:
“By integrating SkillSlate’s platform with TaskRabbit’s, we will be able to provide an even more enhanced service – one where folks can get help with practically anything.”
In an email to SkillSlate users, the startup explained that the integration would happen over the coming months.
Will I still be invited to bid on jobs?
People interested in your services can still find your business profile online and contact you directly through SkillSlate. However, consumers will no longer be posting jobs on SkillSlate, so we won’t be sending any more invitations to bid on jobs at this time.
Will I still be able to access my business profile and account?
Yes, you will be able to access your business profile on SkillSlate, as well as use our other features, such as our post-to-Craigslist tool.
How can I become a TaskRabbit?
We are so excited to get you involved in the TaskRabbit community but please don’t apply just yet! We’ll email you for preferred access in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can learn more about who TaskRabbits are here.
We will update the post as we hear back from TaskRabbit and SkillSlate.