Airtasker raises $22 million in Series B round led by Seven West Media to turn the brand into a household name
Sydney-based Airtasker has today announced the closing of a $22 million in a Series B round led by Seven West Media. Following on from a $6.5 million investment raise last year, the Series B has seen participation from existing investors including Shanghai-based Morning Crest Capital, Sydney VC firm Exto Partners, and the NRMA.
As part of the deal, Seven West Media have secured a 15 percent stake in Airtasker and will provide the startup with media support and investment to drive the platform’s growth. More broadly, the funding will help Airtasker develop its core marketplace product and grow the brand into a household name for local consumer services.
“We are delighted to partner with and support the growth of Airtasker. We continue to pursue opportunities to build our company through key strategic investments in new disruptive ventures which can scale rapidly with the benefit of the promotional power of our assets,” said Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media.
Since launch in 2012, Airtasker has raised a total of $32 million in capital and has grown in transaction volume to more than $40 million per year. As of May this year, the startup has more than doubled its total number of community members from 250,000 to over 600,000.
The growth of its community is, of course, fundamental to its success: Airtasker is a community marketplace that connects people who are looking for help getting everyday tasks and errands complete. It has been built on a community of people who are looking to earn some quick extra cash in-between part or full-time jobs.
The growth of the community is coming from interesting sectors: the return of NRMA for a follow on investment shows the insurer’s belief that the startup is of value to its olders members, with Airtasker CEO Tim Fung explaining last year that a fast-growing demographic of Airtasker users was seniors looking to make some extra money by doing odd jobs in their spare time.
On the job posting side, Fung said the startup is helping Australian people and businesses get more done with their day.
“Whilst we’ve seen rapid organic growth over the past year, we’re only scratching the surface of a multi-billion opportunity – we still have a huge way to grow in Australia alone,” he said.
Five years ago Airtasker was founded off the back of completing a single errand. The idea sprung from cofounders Tim Fung and Jonathan Lui moving houses, and now connects thousands of people around Australia who need assistance for their daily tasks.
Airtasker is currently most active in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, with the majority of jobs posted on the platform revolving around home and garden work. In March this year the startup hit a milestone, with a record of 30,000 tasks posted.
Clive Dickens, chief digital officer of Seven West Media, said Airtasker is one of the most unique and innovative Australian digital brands in the fast growing, mobile peer-to-peer economy.
“Airtasker has a highly scalable online platform that simplifies the end-to-end task process and provides a rich and valuable data platform, which is a strong competitive advantage,” he said.
This is the second big round of investment Seven West Media has made into a startup this year. In February the media giant invested in digital media platform Starts At 60 to help support further expansion in areas of content, technology, and operations, acquiring a 33 percent stake in the company.
Today Seven West Media delivers content to an audience of 16 million people a month around Australia and in the last 18 months the company has formed strategic partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Their enormous reach will provide Airtasker with even more exponential growth and will assist in driving the company towards being a household name in every city in Australia.
Worner said, “Airtasker is an exciting investment for SWM and we will drive brand awareness and engagement for Airtasker via our massive audiences in a way that only Seven West can.”
Image: Jonathan Lui and Tim Fung. Source: Supplied.