Zirtual, which operates a marketplace to match up busy professionals with virtual executive assistants, is ready to go big. After three years of operating in invite-only mode, the company is opening up the floodgates to enable anyone to hire a virtual assistant for as little as $99 a month.
Zirtual was founded on the idea that even the busiest of professionals probably don’t need a dedicated assistant sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. And furthermore, that those assistants could better spend their time helping multiple clients.
By email, phone, or through Zirtual’s own dashboard, clients can assign tasks to assistants who help make their lives more efficient. Zirtual plans start at $99 a month for non-dedicated support and just 15, 15-minute tasks a month. For double that amount, clients get eight hours of dedicated support, as well as next-day turnaround on tasks.
The next two plans, at $399 and $749 a month, offer 16 and 32 hours of dedicated support each month with same-day turnaround on tasks and dedicated email, phone and SMS support. In all cases, though, Zirtual believes that it can significantly reduce the cost of hiring a dedicated executive assistant, which costs an average of $54,000 a year.
And for those who just need something done really fast? The company is launching Zirtual Now, which allows any client to get help from a pool of virtual assistants with spare time on their hands, for about $8.75 per task.
The decision to become more open didn’t come lightly. According to founder Maren Kate Donovan, Zirtual benefitted early on from being invite-only — which helped seed the site with some “amazing early adopters” while the company figured out how the marketplace best works.
For instance, it needed to figure out how much time was actually needed for each client, and how they could best prioritize the needs of multiple clients. Now, after several years and more than half a million tasks performed by its “Zirtual assistants,” the company feels confident that it’s worked out the kinks and will be able to appeal to a much wider audience.
Zirtual had raised $2 million in funding from Tony Hsieh, VegasTechFund, and Mayfield Fund. The company has offices in Las Vegas and San Francisco.