Technology

TaskRabbit, symbol of sharing economy, pivots to focus on home services

Will popular app follow HouseCall's example and offer home showings on demand?

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Screen shot of TaskRabbit's iPhone app showing categories of services. TaskRabbit, which became a symbol of the "sharing economy" by letting users put errands and odd jobs out for bid, has pivoted to focus primarily on helping users instantly connect with home service professionals who charge fixed hourly rates. The relaunch puts TaskRabbit, which CrunchBase says has raised nearly $38 million since 2008, into direct competition with a growing number of Uber-like services -- including HouseCall -- that allow homeowners to hail handymen, cleaners and movers. TaskRabbit's pivot could also open the door for the company to support home showings on demand -- a feature HouseCall added after the company realized that agents were fueling adoption of the app by recommending it to clients. Rental listing sites Naked Apartments, Curb Call and AgentPair also support home showings on demand. TaskRabbit acquired 1.25 million new users in 2013 and was on track to double that number at th...