Airtasker is gearing up to list on the Australian Stock Exchange later this month, following a nine-year journey that’s seen it grow from a living room floor to multimillion-dollar revenues and international growth.
The business filed its prospectus with the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, 8 February, and is expected to list on February 22, under the ticker ART.
Airtasker is seeking to raise $83.7 million through the float.
The offer price for the listing will be $0.66 per share, giving the business an enterprise value of $226.9 million.
In a letter to potential investors, co-founder and chief Tim Fung said more than $1 billion has been paid to gig economy workers through the Airtasker platform since it was founded in 2012.
As a public company, the plan is to direct resources towards “product, software and data capabilities that empower our community”, he wrote, all in a bid to fuel further growth.
“We believe the opportunity to empower the local services economy on a global scale is truly massive”
The IPO follows a strong year for Airtasker. The business generated some $19.3 million in revenue in the 2020 financial year, up from $14 million in the previous 12 months, and recorded a $5.2 million loss.
It expects to report revenue of $24.5 million for this financial year.
From cash injections to acquisitions, controversy to leadership shuffles, here’s how Airtasker got to where it is today.
Airtasker was founded by Tim Fung and Jonathan Lui, reportedly from Fung’s living room floor.
The fledgling startup raised $1.5 million in funding and expanded into Melbourne.
Airtasker made its first acquisition, taking over competitor TaskBox.
The startup closed a $2 million funding round, with capital from Exto Partners, BridgeLane Capital and a range of private equity investors.
The growing business made another acquisition, this time of odd-jobs outsourcing business Occasional Butler.
Airtasker raised $6.5 million to boost product development and fuel an expansion into Asia.
Airtasker raised $22 million in a significant funding round led by Seven West Media.
The startup secured a partnership with retail giant The Good Guys, allowing people to purchase electricals and arrange to get help with installation at the same time.
Airtasker came under fire from consumer advocate Choice, over claims workers were earning up to $20,000 per month through the platform.
Fung maintained the claim was factual, even if only for a “small number” of people. However, he added that the business was driven by transparency, and vowed to be “more conservative” with such claims in the future.
Co-founder Jonathan Lui stepped away from the day-to-day running of the business, to relocate to Singapore and focus on his family.
“Managing operations at the business and being fully present in my personal life has become too big of a challenge,” he said at the time.
Airtasker entered into an agreement with Unions NSW, promoting above-award pay rates and fair working conditions for people using its platform.
In the same month, the business secured a partnership with IKEA, allowing shoppers to visit Airtasker kiosks in stores and instantly book freelancers to help them assemble their furniture
The business raised a further $33 million in capital, this time to establish operations in the UK.
In 2018, it was reported that Airtasker had been hit with a demand to pay back millions in previously claimed R&D Tax Incentives, plus a 75% penalty.
The debacle drew attention to problems in the R&D scheme, and led to industry outcry for change.
Just this year, as the pandemic saw swathes of Aussies shift to online shopping, Airtasker reported a 120% uptick in users seeking people to do their Aldi shop for them.
Following a strong period of growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, Airtasker extended further, tapping into the New Zealand and Singapore markets.