Ikea is trying its hand at the gig economy.
The Swedish home goods giant just bought on-demand freelance work app TaskRabbit for an undisclosed sum, the companies confirmed. Recode first reported the news on Thursday.
The deal will take aim at one of the most frustrating parts of the Ikea shopping experience: all those complicated assembly instructions.
TaskRabbit, which maintains an online marketplace that connects people with contract workers to perform any manner of odd jobs, previously partnered with Ikea on furniture assembly in the United Kingdom and has marketed its workers’ ability to do so in the United States as well.
In addition to the army of what are effectively new customer service associates, TaskRabbit will help Ikea build out its tech capabilities as it wards off competition from Amazon. The online shopping behemoth has been pushing hard into the furniture market lately in a bid to tap into one of the fastest growing segments of e-commerce.
“We will be able to learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise, while also providing IKEA customers additional ways to access flexible and affordable service solutions to meet the needs of today’s customer,” Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin said in a statement.
TaskRabbit will remain an independent subsidiary under Ikea’s umbrella, and Stacy Brown-Philpot will stay on as CEO, according to Recode. TaskRabbit raised around $38 million from venture capital firms including Founders Fund and Shasta Ventures before now.
The startup was reported to have put itself up for sale in spring as it looked for resources to continue its growth. TaskRabbit currently operates in 40 U.S. cities and London, but Ikea hinted at more international expansion to come in its announcement of the deal.