Thursday, July 31, 2014Mostly Cloudy 24°C
Tech

Get to know a Toronto startup: AskForTask

Posted by Anna Starasts / May 12, 2014

askfortaskSomewhere between the help-your-neighbour sharing economy and the convenience of crowdsourcing lies AskForTask, a Toronto startup that connects you with local help for any errand on your to-do list.

Here's how it works: Askers (people looking for help) post a task they need done and the price they're willing to pay. They can browse the site for Taskers (people looking to help) who've posted how they can lend a hand with and how much they'd like to earn doing it, or wait for bids from the Taskers themselves.

Strike a deal with your chosen Tasker using the app's private messaging feature, and cross that pesky errand off your to-do list; you'll only have to pay, by cash, credit card or PayPal once your task is completed. Askers then post a review to help build the reputation of Taskers within this online community.

Founded by brothers Muneeb and Nabeel Mushtaq, AskForTask is available on the web or as a mobile app for iOS. I spoke with their team to find out more.

Why create AskForTask?

The inspiration came from Muneeb's mother, who asked him to find help fixing a leaky faucet. When he navigated his available resources, he found there was miscommunication, uncertainty with potential contractors and inflated rates. He wanted to create a place where people can post tasks on their budget. He also realized that with the abysmal job market, his friends and family could earn money in their community by completing tasks that others nearby needed help with.

Who are your competitors?

There are no other platforms like ours currently available specifically to Canadians. However, there are collaborative platforms such as TaskRabbit in the U.S. that are based on a very similar concept. The big difference between us (and them) is that we do not hire Taskers ourselves. We simply connect them to Askers in a secure way.

How does AskForTask make money?

When a task is completed we keep 15% of the posted price.

Do you have any memorable stories of how AskForTask has helped someone out?

Our CEO, Muneeb, hired a cleaner through AskForTask three months ago. When the woman he hired came to his home, she started discussing how amazing the platform was, but she had a complaint: that AskForTask didn't support credit card payments. At the time we only had PayPal or cash. Muneeb agreed with her complaint, but she clearly had no idea that he co-founded the company.

He took the feedback to heart, and the team started working to implement credit card payments into the system right away. He called her a week later to thank her for the feedback and told her that AskForTask started accepting credit card payments because of her. She was shocked, but told us she loves and trusts the platform even more because of how responsive we were.

What's coming up next?

We're currently focused on expanding globally. We've also identified three areas of focus based on how people are using the app: cleaning, home delivery and virtual help. Based on our forecasts, by the end of 2014 one in 10 Canadians will somehow be benefiting from AskForTask.

Discussion

13 Comments

James / May 12, 2014 at 03:20 pm
user-pic
Wow….%15 seems like quite a bit to be keeping.. Ill just post on craigslist and kijiji and keep all of the money to myself!! Good idea, but way to much of a commission to a company that is just providing the same/but nicer platform as Kijiji..
Ryan replying to a comment from James / May 12, 2014 at 04:18 pm
user-pic
If you are looking for a service, the cost to you is nothing. They take the 15% from the tasker, not the asker.
Jorge / May 12, 2014 at 04:36 pm
user-pic
Glad to see some up & coming startups here in Toronto.

askfortask
tabpayments
usehurrier
T replying to a comment from James / May 12, 2014 at 06:56 pm
user-pic
AskforTask is much safer than Craigslist and ensures both parties are happy. If someone comes to your house and doesn't do a good job then your money doesn't go directly to them, you pay when you are satisfied. Same if you aren't compensated by the person asking you to do something for them: you are guaranteed payment. It's easier and more reliable than Craigslist/Kijiji for sure.
nn / May 12, 2014 at 07:51 pm
user-pic
task rabbit is better than this ripoff. I hope they get sued.
Levi / May 13, 2014 at 12:23 am
user-pic
People on this platform are verified ONLY by email paypal and phone really. Any ordinary person can get fake verification on these platform all you need is an email. If you are not concerned about that I might as well put a WANTED ad on Kijiji or Craigslist and request references as well. When I posted a task I can't check reference unless I pick one. Wonderful concept. I rather pay my guy cash and not worry about a third party.
keven / May 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm
user-pic
The mechanism to filter tasks when browsing doesn't even work, which makes it impossible to use.

I realize this is probably an MVP, but if stuff doesn't work its not "viable" which is the most important letter in that acronym.

Fix your app or don't launch it.
Steven replying to a comment from Levi / May 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm
user-pic
With AskForTask Taskers can build a portfolio of reviews from their past tasks. As someone who uses the site regularly to make money.. I want to ensure I do a good enough job to satisfy my asker so they can leave me a good review. Sure there verification is only through Facebook, email and phone number... but the trust between the Asker and the Tasker comes from the Asker being able to choose from multiple bids, based on the reviews they read.. It's pretty much the Ebay for services. Also AskForTask only takes a commission if they help you make money, seems pretty fair to me.
hmm replying to a comment from nn / May 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm
user-pic
taskrabbit is not available in Canada. so i'm glad this is available to me now. also, the website doesn't hire 'rabbits' or in this case 'taskers', they just connect you with people nearby.

i've had many tasks run on this, including babysitting. feel much more comfortable using it than Kijiji or Craiglist.
Father Mushtaq replying to a comment from nn / May 14, 2014 at 07:21 am
user-pic
I know they will get sued. how, and why? simply because the moment the person gets hurt, or hurts someone in performing a task, that creates liability and lest we forget ubers lawsuit when a driver they match-made with a passenger killed some pedestrian in SF.
Paul / May 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm
user-pic
Another great startup is My Stewards ( mystewards.com ). They work with bonded service providers and have a great platform to make requests on and pay for the services. I highly suggest you check them out as well.
Judge Judy / May 21, 2014 at 09:39 pm
user-pic
How many delusional startup founders does it take to change a lightbulb?

Do we look like we need help from you? What is the problem you are trying to solve here? Consider the problems you are creating. This is waste of time. Do your "taskers" have WSIB? How is that even supposed to work?

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal