Friday, May 06, 2022

Funging OneFlare: Airtasker Wastes Everyone’s Time Yet It Keeps Spreading and Spreading to Underground Economies Everywhere

Bizzare acquisition where black economy and waste of time and money thrives 

WASTE OF TIME: Bad experience with Gig Economy: Airtasker 

Sometimes the most unlikely things and Airtaskers can change the course of our lives as there is no Australian Business Number associated on the gig underground economy databases

hi there my name is Haris, im a carpenter/foreman and have plenty of experience. im based in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, but dont mind traveling depending on the work.”

Airtasker snags Domain’s Oneflare for a fraction of its former value

Jobs marketplace Airtasker has acquired rival Oneflare for $9.8 million, a fraction of the nearly $50 million it was valued at in 2016 whenDomain took a stake.

Airtasker launched a capital raise on Wednesday morning to support the acquisition after Morgans came on board to help it raise $6.25 million, as first revealed by Street Talk.

Tim Fung

Airtasker CEO Tim Fung says the Oneflare acquisition will add a new dimension to the marketplace. Jeremy Piper

The Airtasker board will tip in $3.55 million of the $6.25 million, subject to shareholder approval.

Airtasker chief executive Tim Fung said Oneflare had 540,000 customers each year and 14,500 verified businesses on the platform.

“I’ve known the Oneflare founders for a very long time, and we’ve kept in touch as we went on the journey in a friendly and competitive environment,” Mr Fung told The Australian Financial Review.

“For the past four years, Billy Tucker, the CEO, and I have spent a lot of time together and there’s no doubt the COVID-19 environment was challenging for their business model.

“We continued to talk this year and considered what it could look like if we joined forces.”

Only $2.25 million of the $9.8 million will be paid in cash. The rest will be made up of Airtasker shares, issued at 43¢, with 50 per cent placed in escrow for 12 months from issue and the rest in escrow for 24 months.

In 2016, Domain (majority owned by Nine Entertainment, publisher of the Financial Review) invested $15 million in Oneflare in a deal that valued the business at nearly $50 million.

It started out as a directory to connect customers to local, licensed and vetted tradesmen, but in 2018 it broadened its remit and endeavoured to become an on-demand marketplace for Australians to book service providers for jobs ranging from plumbing to a wedding celebrant.

It fronted investors again in April last year when trying to raise between $10 million and $15 million, and tapped Grant Samuel to facilitate investor introductions.

A flyer at the time revealed it had 700,000 job postings a year and 900,000 business quotes from about 20,000 quoting businesses.

Mr Fung said the acquisition allowed Airtasker to offer more qualified service professionals and embed Oneflare features such as its “business success” team, designed to help users be successful on the platform.

“Their base of service pros, or providers, is quite different to Airtasker’s more independent taskers. They’re verified businesses ... so it’s exciting that we’re bringing the two things together,” he said.

The placement to institutional investors is priced at 43¢, a 15.9 per cent discount to its last traded price of 51¢.