TaskRabbit, a site allowing users to outsource tasks to anyone willing to complete them for a fee, has launched in the Washington area.
The San Francisco-based start-up now has a national army of about 15,000 “TaskRabbits,” or people who agree to do tasks like laundry, assembling Ikea furniture, or photographing events for other users. About 700 of these errand-doers are from the Washington area — TaskRabbit is now operational in 14 cities, recently launching in Atlanta Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia in addition to the District.
TaskRabbit assesses demand for its service — from both task posters and answerers — in each city before deciding to launch there, spokesman Johnny Brackett said. Since its founding in 2008, anyone interested in bringing the service to their city could request it on the site.
Brackett said TaskRabbit, which takes a cut of each transaction, anticipates success in D.C. because of its “high volume of busy people” who “have the money to outsource things.”
For instance, one user offered $25 to 35 to anyone willing to print parking permits and place them in front of her new Dupont Circle apartment, reserving a spot for when she arrives. Another requested someone to deliver cupcakes to her boyfriend’s office on his birthday. (TaskRabbits must apply and undergo a background check before they can bid with their fee — users can then choose who they want to complete the task based on their price or reviews.)
Brackett also noted the city’s high unemployment rate, currently 8.6 percent, coupled with a high cost of living, forces task-doers to search for creative ways to earn money.
“We know it’s going to be a natural fit.”