Get to know a Toronto startup: AskForTask

Somewhere 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.

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