Ebay for real world labor TaskRabbit has seen lightning fast growth in the past couple of months, and has taken advantage of that growth by raising another $17.8 million in Series B funding. Participating in the round are existing investors Shervin Pishevar, Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE Fund, Collaborative Fund and Shasta Ventures, in addition to new partners LightSpeed Ventures, Allen & Company, and Tornante Company, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s new investment firm.
This new round will bring the company’s total funding to $24.5 million.
In tandem with the new investment, Lightspeed’s Justin Caldbeck will be joining TaskRabbit CEO Eric Grosse, CPO and co-founder Leah Busque and Shasta’s Sean Flynn on the TaskRabbit board. Busque tells me that she chose Lightspeed Ventures specifically because of the firm’s experience with local market place startups like Grubhub and LivingSocial.
Interestingly enough, Michael Eisner found out about TaskRabbit through a segment on ABC World News Tonight, the producer of which had found out about TaskRabbit through an article profiling the company in Wired Magazine. ;)
Busque came up with the idea for TaskRabbit in 2008 in Boston. It was too cold to go out, and she and her husband Kevin needed to buy a big heavy bag of dog food for her dog Kobe. She wondered if there was any service that let people easily outsource errands and tasks. There wasn’t, so she quit her job four months later to start a company.
TaskRabbit, which lets people post tasks that can be subsequently bid on, operates in five cities — Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and LA with over 2,000 task “Runners.” The company is getting ready to expand to Seattle, Portland, Austin and Atlanta.
And Busque tells me that she’s also gunning for international expansion, fresh off a trip to Paris’ LeWeb where fellow collaborative consumption startup Uber launched in Europe. “We’ve got thousands of people on the waiting lists for cities that haven’t launched yet,” she tells me.
TaskRabbit is now seeing 9,000 tasks a month and has tripled its net revenue since its Series A funding in May. The company monetizes by taking a fee of between 13% – 30% from each task completed.
Busque will be using the influx of cash to build out an Android app and further refine TaskRabbit’s iOS app in order to make the TaskRabbit experience even more mobile. The TaskRabbit team is currently 35-person strong team and is looking to hire between 25-30 people in product, engineering and design. “We can really blow up this thing in a way more aggressive fashion,” Busque tells me.