First investment made by Telefónica’s venture capital team in a Wayra start-up.
Taskhub to be accelerated through O2 in the UK with potential for Telefónica to aid international expansion.
Telefónica Digital, the digital innovation arm of O2 parent Telefónica, today announces that its venture capital team has invested a six figure sum in Taskhub, an online marketplace for tasks and small jobs. Taskhub is currently being accelerated by Wayra London and this marks the first time Telefónica’s venture capital team has invested in a Wayra start-up globally.
Taskhub is an online marketplace that lets people outsource errands or small jobs to trusted individuals or small businesses in their communities. The site allows people to post a task and the price they are willing to pay for it. Relevant experts, who are verified on the basis of a range of checks, including customer reviews, can then bid for the job. The service, which has been in private beta, launches today in London with the rest of the UK to follow this year.
Taskhub was one of the winning start-ups in Wayra’s inaugural call for UK-based projects in May last year. As a winner, Wayra has since been working with Taskhub on its online marketplace, providing a shared working space at Wayra London and technology, know-how and access to the investor community.
In addition to its investment, Telefónica will also seek to leverage opportunities for Taskhub through Telefónica UK to help its continued acceleration. This includes marketing through O2 channels, including its small business customer base, and also using O2 assets such as Priority Moments Local. It will also identify potential synergies with the O2 local government sales team, such as through creating a platform for use by local government entities. There is also potential for Telefónica to support Taskhub in launching in other markets where Telefónica operates.
“We created Wayra to find and nurture the best technology start ups and this investment is a fantastic example of how we can then take a start up beyond seed stage, leveraging both our venture capital capabilities and opportunities within our operating businesses,” said Martin Harriman, Head of Telefónica Digital for the UK and Ireland. “It is also a great proof point of the commitment Telefónica and O2 have to supporting and investing in the UK start up community.”
“With Taskhub, our aim is to create lasting social change by providing a platform to create safe and meaningful real world connections. We plan to be the single most valuable online source for local engagement through paid jobs and volunteer opportunities. We’re very excited about our future not only with the investment from Telefónica but also the distribution partnership with O2 in the UK,” said Rahul Ahuja, CEO of Taskhub.
Wayra London opened last summer and is part of a global network that now covers 13 Academies in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America. 10 of these Academies, including London, are currently open to applications. Entrepreneurs have until January 21st to submit their application at http://www.wayra.org/en/joinus.
Telefónica’s venture capital team has representatives in Silicon Valley, London, Madrid and Tel Aviv and is focused on early to mid-stage investments and acquisitions. Most recently it led an investment round in Israeli-based, HTML5 start-up, Everything.me and also Telefónica’s acquisition of video communications company, TokBox.
About Telefónica Digital
Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. It is also driving innovation in over the top communications under a new umbrella brand called TU and in Big Data through Telefónica Dynamic Insights.
Telefónica Digital will deliver these new products and services to Telefónica’s 311 million customers as well as entering new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Jajah, Terra, Media Networks Latin America, 48 and giffgaff are all managed under the Telefónica Digital umbrella.
To sign up for news alerts and read commentary on Telefónica Digital, visit www.telefonica.com/digitalhub and track them on Twitter @tefdigital
Wayra aims to promote innovation and the detection of new talent in Latin America and Europe in the field of the Internet and new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). By means of its global project acceleration model, it supports entrepreneurs in their development, providing them with the technological tools, qualified mentors, a cutting-edge work space and the funding necessary to accelerate their growth.
With presence in 12 countries (Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom and Venezuela), Wayra has received over 14,000 proposals for new digital businesses, making it the largest technological talent spotting platform in the ICT world. Its academies in Barcelona, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Dublin, Lima, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Munich, Prague, Santiago and Sao Paulo are currently home to over 180 start-ups going through the acceleration process.
Taskhub is a peer-to-peer marketplace for jobs, services and volunteer opportunities. It’s buyer initiated and has a heavy emphasis on connecting locals with each other.
Users simply post a Task they need done on the website and receive offers from others in their area. The lowest bid doesn’t necessarily mean a winning bid as users may be chosen based on their reviews, ratings or safety badges. Posting a Task is free and the service takes a small portion of the overall transaction value as its fee.
Taskhub is going to be available in London starting today and will launch in the rest of the UK later this year with plans for expansion in the rest of Europe soon after.