TaskRabbit, the labor marketplace that lets people outsource their errands and to-dos, is officially announcing the addition of two notable new board members today: eBay vet Lorrie Norrington and OpenTable Founder Chuck Templeton.
Norrington was President of eBay Marketplaces, where she led global business strategy and operations for 39 countries and was also previously CEO of Shopping.com. She currently sits on the board of DIRECTV, Autodesk, and Lucasfilm as well. Templeton, meanwhile, has experience as a founder himself, having grown OpenTable from one city to 25,000 restaurants across 50 states and 18 countries. He's also now involved with Impact Engine, an accelerator focused on environmentally and socially-minded startups who are looking to build sustainable, for-profit businesses.
It's important for TaskRabbit to add advisors like this as it attempts to expand its business from its current markets, which now includes San Francisco, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, San Antonio, Seattle, Portland, and Orange County. As TechCrunch contributor Semil Shah noted on his personal blog just a few days ago, services like TaskRabit and others including Zaarly, Postmates, Instacart and Exec are all trying to tap into the consumer demand for services that allow regular folks to hire people on demand to complete some sort of task. But all these are facing the same challenge: that's scaling geography in a meaningful way, says Shah. It's a challenge that will take on quite a bit of risk in terms of VC investment, and not all will make it.
That's why having the right people on board to advise will matter, so these are some key hires for TaskRabbit to make note of. According to TaskRabbit founder and CEO Leah Busque, the new additions are meant to help TaskRabbit scale “globally,” she said in a statement, which is an ambitious goal for a startup that hasn't yet mastered the U.S. market. But the company, backed by $38 million in venture funding, is certainly one to watch in this space – it has a vision of attacking the larger outsourced labor market, while others, like Postmates, for example, go after specific verticals – in its case, couriers. The bigger idea here is the introduction of new concepts around what work itself can look like, and how fluctuating supply and demand can be taken advantage of within a marketplace setting.