Last month, errands marketplace TaskRabbit announced plans to shake up its business model, shifting away from the auction- and negotiation-based platform that it founded five years ago to a more tailored matchmaking marketplace that pairs task-requesting users with contractors (or, as they’ll be called now, “clients” and “taskers,” respectively) for fixed hourly rates.
Today, TaskRabbit‘s new experience is making its official debut. As part of the launch, the company is debuting new client-side mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as a new website.
From the get-go, it’s clear that the new TaskRabbit is optimized for what it’s found to be the company’s most popular use cases. Handyman work, home cleaning, moving help, and personal assistant services are the four categories first highlighted upon opening the mobile app to request a task. The user then types in what they’re looking to have done, and TaskRabbit immediately presents several potential taskers to do the job. From there, all booking and discussion between the client and tasker occurs within the app.
“It’s a much more simplified version of what the TaskRabbit experience has been,” TaskRabbit’s communications lead Johnny Brackett said in a phone call this week. “We wanted to take away points of friction.”
According to the company, the new look and feel has gotten positive feedback so far. Since June 17 when the new direction was announced, Brackett says, TaskRabbit has received 16,000 applications from new prospective Taskers — there are currently 25,000 Taskers registered on the platform, so that’s a significant figure. However, how clients respond to the new TaskRabbit from today will be the true test of whether the change is a success.
Of course, TaskRabbit isn’t the only startup playing in this space. Home services matchmaking companies such as Thumbtack and Homejoy have been boasting strong growth and serious investor funding in recent months. TaskRabbit’s new look and feel is a key move, as it aims to keep an edge of its own in a quickly shifting market.