TaskRabbit is generating operating income in every city it’s in


Company-wide profitability is the next goal.

Venture-backed companies often prioritize growth over profitability. But eight years in, TaskRabbit is trying to have it both ways.

The online marketplace, which connects independent handymen and house cleaners with people looking to hire help, is generating operating income in each of the 19 cities in which it operates, CEO Stacy Brown-Philbot said at the Code Enterprise conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

As for company-wide profitability, Brown-Philbot said the startup will be there “very soon.”

“Some of the investments we are making … will push out the profitability” a bit, she said.

Brown-Philbot declined to elaborate on the investments, other than hinting that one is similar to a deal it has with Amazon, where it is integrated into the e-commerce giant’s home services offerings.

TaskRabbit, founded in 2008 in Boston, was among the first tech companies to leverage a workforce of independent contractors to provide an on-demand service. The startup has raised more than $30 million in venture capital and has focused its service more in recent years on just a few categories of workers after some struggles and layoffs.

Brown-Philbot, who was promoted from COO to CEO earlier this year, said the startup could raise more money soon.

“If you’re a growing business, you’re thinking about raising money,” she said.

At a higher level, TaskRabbit has been one of several on-demand companies talking to policy makers about the idea of “portable benefits” for contract workers in this emerging industry — ones that would have been typically tied to full-time employment. Executives in this industry have also pegged Obamacare as a boon to the sharing economy.

But as we near President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, companies in the gig economy will have to contemplate how their workers will cover their medical needs if Obamacare is repealed or amended.

“On day one of the Trump administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare,” Trump’s website reads.

Brown-Philbot wouldn’t predict what will happen next, but says she remains hopeful that policy progress is possible.

“I hope that we have legislation that [could happen] next year that advances what we want,” she said.

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