Airtasker acquires rival for US expansion

Airtasker has announced its first acquisition since listing on the ASX in March, alongside a $20.7 million capital raise which is set to propel its expansion in the US.

On Friday, the company announced that it has completed the acquisition of Zaarly, a $500 billion US-based local services marketplace for $3.4 million.

Founded in 2011, Zaarly is a curated local services marketplace with operations in Kansas City and Dallas. The acquisition of Zaarly provides Airtasker with more than 597,000 registered users and 900+ verified service providers (Taskers) to jump-start expansion in the US.

Zaarly’s team of marketplace product, engineering and operations executives will be led by CEO Bo Fishback who joins Airtasker to lead US market expansion.

Airtasker, which closed at $1.08 on Friday, also launched a fully underwritten placement of 20.7 million new ordinary shares in Airtasker issued at $1.00 per share to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors with proceeds to be used to fund the Zaarly acquisition, and expansion into key city markets in the US and UK. The company noted that organic growth in city-level markets in the UK and US is tracking ahead of initial expectations.

The placement is expected to settle on 27 May 2021.