Airtasker is tapping investors for more funds, seeking an additional $20.7 million just two months after raising $83.7 million during the company’s float on the ASX.
The company (ASX: ART) is also spending A$3.4 million (US$2.6m) to acquire 10-year-old US services marketplace Zaarly, which has nearly 600,000 customers and 900-plus service providers, to accelerate its North American expansion.
The deal is a major haircut for Zaarly’s early backers, who chipped in US$14.1 million for a series A round in 2011, a year before Airtasker first hit the market. The business mainly operates in two large cities Kansas City and Dallas, having narrowed its focus over the decade to home services from a wider odd jobs marketplace.
Founder Bo Fishback is joining Airtasker, charged with leading the company’s US expansion plans, bringing many of his Zaarly team with him. The company will become Airtasker.
Fishback said that over the past decade, they’d changed the way Americans book home services.
“This is an exciting time for service providers who already rely on us to run their small businesses as well as the thousands of others who have approached Zaarly about offering a broad range of services,” he said.
“Going back to our roots as an open marketplace model also opens up huge potential for growth across local service categories, and new opportunities for Americans to monetise their skills.”
Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said: “We’re extremely excited to bring Airtasker’s expertise in local services to the US market, and expand opportunities for local service providers, under the guidance of Bo and the experienced Zaarly team.”
Having floated at 65 cents in March this year, and seeing its share price treble on the opening day of trade, Airtasker shares have been on the slide since, hitting $1.08 when trading was halted last week ahead of the capital raise announcement.
The company is issuing 20.7 million new shares at the discounted rate of $1 per share to institutional and sophisticated investors, with placement expected to close on May 27.
The company has $16.6 million from the raise earmarked to expansion in key city markets in the US and the UK.