In yet another surprising union of traditional retail and the tech world, IKEA has reportedly snapped up the on-demand service TaskRabbit, Recode reports. The deal makes a lot of sense. TaskRabbit has made a name for itself as the go-to service for random tasks -- and that often involves moving and building furniture. An acquisition is just the next step for the two companies: IKEA is already relying on TaskRabbit as a partner in the UK, and it's advertising the service for customers who need installation help in the U.S. and the rest of the world. IKEA says TaskRabbit will continue to operate as an independent company.
While the deal gives IKEA a deeper foothold in the technology world -- it just launched an AR-focused app for iOS 11 -- it also helps the company solve some annoying problems for consumers. Nobody actually likes building the company's wares, and its expensive and lengthy delivery options also seem archaic in 2017. In particular, IKEA needs to compete with Amazon, which can easily ship out furniture within a day and offer easy installation options.
It's less clear what this deal means for the rest of TaskRabbit's offerings. You can also use the on-demand service to have people stand in line, pick up food from the grocery store or even take your junk to an electronics recycling center (something I've needed it for several times).