Ikea has acquired TaskRabbit, a San Francisco-based on-demand platform for everyday chores. No financial terms were disclosed, although a source close to the deal puts the price tag south of $75 million (unclear if that's to be paid in cash, stock or modular shelving units). TaskRabbit had raised around $50 million in VC funding, from backers like 500 Startups, Baseline Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Floodgate, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures.
- Why it's the BFD: Well, it's obviously not based on ROI for the venture capitalists. Instead, it's a bit because of the novelty of IKEA buying a well-known Silicon Valley startup, and a bit because the Swedish retail giant is voluntarily wading into the legal morass of "gig economy" contractors.
- Synergy: TaskRabbiters were regularly asked by users to assemble Ikea furniture.
- Bottom line: "In the US, Ikea delivery starts at $59 and assembly starts at $89, an anachronism in an era of cheap on-demand labor and free two-day delivery. Small wonder that people were turning to TaskRabbit instead." — Quartz's Alison Griswold, who argues that America's DIY spirit is dying.
• Leerink Transformation Partners, a growth equity firm focused on healthcare IT and services, has raised its debut fund with $313 million in capital commitments. www.LTPequity.com
• MidOcean Partners has held a $692 million first close on its fifth flagship private equity fund, per an SEC filing. A source says that the book target is $750 million with a $1 billion hard cap.
• Piper Jaffray Merchant Banking is raising up to $150 million for its second fund, per an SEC filing. www.piperjaffray.com/merchantbanking