The bond market has entered a financial twilight zone, and at this point, there doesn't seem to be a smooth way out.Market Insiderread more
"I think (rate cuts) will help, but whether they're going to be sufficient to counter the negative trade pressures and global growth slowdown and impact is debatable," one...Central Banksread more
China has used both monetary and fiscal measures to lift economic activity as its trade war with the U.S. looks set to intensify in the coming months.China Economyread more
Alibaba held a board meeting before its latest quarterly earnings release last week, during which the board decided to postpone the Hong Kong listing, Reuters reported.Technologyread more
President Donald Trump said on Twitter he was postponing a scheduled meeting with Denmark's prime minister because of her lack of interest in discussing a possible sale of...World Politicsread more
The two countries want to smash the civil aerospace duopoly enjoyed by Airbus and Boeing.Aerospace & Defenseread more
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver his annual speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium, where he's expected to provide more clarity on the...Asia Marketsread more
After Elon Musk touts Tesla solar on Twitter, Walmart sues the electric vehicle and clean energy company over store rooftop panels that ignited.Technologyread more
U.S. and Asian investors poured $3.7 billion into U.K. tech start-ups in the first seven months of 2019, research shows.Technologyread more
Trump said he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession."Politicsread more
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately told business executives and free traders that the trade war could end by the 2020 election and that hurdles to an immediate agreement...2020 Electionsread more
Swedish home goods giant Ikea has bought TaskRabbit. Sources previously told Recode the deal was imminent.
The price of the deal could not be determined, but the contract labor marketplace company has raised about $50 million since it was founded nine years ago. Sources added that TaskRabbit will become an independent subsidiary within Ikea and CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and its staff would remain.
Sources also noted that Ikea would add capital to the company, although that amount could not be determined. TaskRabbit, which is now profitable, will also be able to strike other partnerships, such as one it already has with Amazon.
TaskRabbit is one of the best-known startups in the so-called "gig" economy that links freelance workers with jobs, from handymen to movers to assistants. It has about 60 employees, but scores of independent workers use its platform.
The purchase of TaskRabbit was fueled by Ikea's need to further bolster its digital customer service capabilities to better compete with rivals likes Amazon, which has stepped up its home goods and installation offerings. The purchase is Ikea's first step into the on-demand platform space.
TaskRabbit had already struck a pilot partnership with Ikea around furniture assembly in the United Kingdom and also had marketed its workers ability to put together Ikea items in the U.S. and elsewhere.
But a purchase of TaskRabbit will get Ikea even more deeply into the tech space, although it has not been without some tech innovation of late. The company — which has sales of more the $36 billion annually and 183,000 workers — recently announced an initiative to shift its 389 stores worldwide to electric car transportation and infrastructure.
And this week, it released a nifty augmented reality app for the Apple iPhone, called "Ikea Place." Using the phone's camera, a customer can scan a room and then place an Ikea furniture virtually to see how it looks. It has gotten positive reviews.
Previous acquisitions by IKEA have ranged in price from $20 to $90 million, according to PitchBook data.
The TaskRabbit acquisition, which was finally completed this week, comes six months after Brown-Philpot said that the company had been responding to sales interest from strategic buyers.
"It's opportunistic," said Brown-Philpot in an interview with Recode, but declined to provide more details about the process. Sources said over the last several months there was other buyer interest, including from Yelp, Google and IAC.
TaskRabbit used Bank of America Merrill Lynch as advisers, which came as the San Francisco-based company was in the process of raising another round of funding.
TaskRabbit's investors include venture firms like Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Founders Fund. Sources said the company did another small financing last year from an international investor.
That was all to continue its expansion of cities in the U.S. to 40 from its current 24 locations. In a Recode Decode podcast last September, Brown-Philpot said TaskRabbit was cash flow positive in its cities, and close to reaching profitability overall.
Brown-Philpot, a former Google exec and a board member at HP Inc., took over the top job at TaskRabbit from founder Leah Busque in mid-2016. Busque, as Recode reported earlier this week, has recently joined the seed-focused Fuel Capital as a venture partner. Busque founded TaskRabbit, originally called Run My Errand, in 2008.
For those who do not know the massive retailer — or have never spent hours assembling one of its Kallax shelves using those tiny little L-shaped hex tools — the IKEA Group is led by Jesper Brodin. The longtime company veteran had previously run its Swedish unit and replaced Peter Agnefjall, who led the company for only four years.
TaskRabbit and Ikea declined to comment.
—By Kara Swisher and Theodore Schleifer, Recode.net.
CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.
More from Recode:
What it's like to get a $500,000 phone call from the MacArthur 'Genius' Awards
Junk news and Russian misinformation flooded Twitter during the 2016 election
The Echo doesn't have one killer app, so Amazon is creating Alexa gadgets for every use case