The attack of TaskRabbit clones in Singapore

Job listing sites, mirroring that of TaskRabbit, have been popping up in Singapore. Find out how they are localizing to cater to the relevant markets.

The general workforce is getting younger, more mobile and highly virtual. They are constantly on the lookout for more demanding jobs, as well as more specialized work. These job hunters are also on the lookout for jobs to provide extra earnings as well as jobs which suits them. Due to this paradigm shift, websites like freelancer, ODesk, as well as TaskRabbit, have been sprouting up over the last few years to meet the growing demands from this younger workforce.

TaskRabbit, a service which allows anyone to post a job listing has proven to be a success in the United States. The four-year-old startup, which managed to raised US$6.8 million in venture capital to date, has more than 30 employees and is now brokering tasks in several cities in the States. Recently, it has also acquired SkillSlate, a similar service in the States. Its success has also inspired some local entrepreneurs in Singapore to create similar services over the past few months.

Attack of the TaskRabbit Clones in Singapore

FlagAHero – A simple way to ask for whatever help you need, was launched two weeks ago and is in its private Alpha. The website gamifies the whole process where “Heroes” (the runners) will be awarded badges for completing tasks. The team of two recently reached the finals of the Ideas.Inc business challenge and won them a total of S$15,000 of grant money.

Juubs is a platform that makes your life easier and saves precious time where you can outsource your daily tasks to the platform’s reliable and friendly “Squirrels”. The team just launched their public beta a few days ago. Not only can users now post tasks, they can offer their services on the jobs marketplace for interested parties. The team is currently incubated at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

TaskAmigo allows user to post jobs and errands onto their platform where there will be “Amigos” (runners) executing the errands. The public beta of TaskAmigo was launched a month ago, which saw the team, dressed up as Amigos, doing some publicity stunts in town. The TaskAmigo team is also seeing quite a number of activities on its Facebook page for support and enquiries. TaskAmigo is funded by SPRING Singapore.

TaskIsland is a new way for you to earn extra money with your time and skills. According to its Facebook post, the team is currently interviewing their runners prior to their launch in two weeks time, . TaskIsland seems to be focusing on ensuring the quality of their runners and ensuring the pool of its runner before launching.

Taskporter is an online networking portal that allows busy individuals to get their unwanted tasks, errands or chores completed on their behalf. Taskporter was launched a few months ago and focuses on a few verticals – transportation, domestic, pets, shopping and talent.

Will it work?

The real question then lies in whether these services will work in a small country like Singapore. Your guess is as good as mine. For them to work in Singapore, it requires education as well as critical mass. Without the critical mass of runners as well as errands listing, execution of transactions which involves time sensitive errands would be a challenge. Factors that affect adoption of the service includes awareness, types of listing, as well as ease of tasks execution. A huge majority of Singaporeans are also made up of middle working class who hold day jobs and might not have time to run errands for others.

With more and more similar websites coming out and with no clear dominant player in Singapore, it is entirely anyone’s game to attract as many runners as well as errand postings. We will just have to see which company managed to cross the chasm between the early adopters and the early majority.

Which one do you think will work in Singapore?

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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