Airtasker is one of Australia’s fastest growing technology businesses. With over 1.7m members and over $85 million transacted through the platform Airtasker has gone global.
Transitioning from startup to scaleup
Airtasker is a trusted community platform that connects people who need to outsource tasks and find local services, with people who are looking to earn money and are ready to work.
With its mission to empower people to realise the full value of their skills, on a global scale, Think & Grow were appointed to enable the Founder and VP People to understand the key hires required for the next phase of the growth journey.
Following a Series B fundraise, combined with rapid employee and user growth in under 12 months, the business had scaled beyond the capability of the current technology platform. Typically double-sided marketplaces grow via marketing means initially, which results in an under-investment on the technology side. A more robust technology platform was now required in order to be able to build new features effectively and maximise new revenue opportunities.
As well, given growth had been fairly organic to date (driven by network effects) and recently flattened, product and growth strategies no longer aligned. What can happen is the growth marketing team can be more focussed on hitting the short term numbers, whereas product tends to take a longer-term view. By having both functions led by one individual (versus as two separate functions), it is direct resources into the most impactful areas of the business at the time.
Think & Grow met with key stakeholders to understand how the business had scaled to date. Now layering in management structures and work processes, Airtasker had transitioned from “local startup” to a business with serious funding, critical mass and global ambitions.
A full organisational review was needed to ascertain how the business could transition into full scaleup entity and execute on its global growth plans most effectively. Think & Grow sat down with the senior leadership team, plus engineering leads, in order to build a world view of the business landscape and problems.
From this, Think & Grow identified the need to bring in a strong individual who could run engineering technically but also represent it commercially as part of the senior leadership team. Candidates were shortlisted from the US, the UK and Australia and were coached effectively through the process.
VP Growth, Strategy & Product
Another critical “gap” was around the broader sync between product, growth and longer-term strategy. Think & Grow initially ran a dual track process – looking at a combination of pure growth profiles, pure product profiles, and broader profiles who were able to take more ownership and have a bigger impact on the business.
Someone with both a product and growth marketing skillset was necessary for this stage of Airtasker’s journey in order to drive numbers and meaningful growth, and make the most impact. As well, this would prove out that Airtasker had go to where they were today, not by luck, but by conscious and mechanical means.
Following a global search, Think & Grow secured Yaniv Bernstein as the VP Engineering. Yaniv was previously the VP Engineering at OneFlare, having spent over four years at Google working on Google Maps.
Andre Pinotonanan was appointed the VP Growth, Strategy & Product, joining from a local tech unicorn where he spent almost four years. Since starting, Andre has driven growth as a cultural conversation – ensuring the whole business is talking about growth versus as a single department’s responsibility.
Muraldihar noted how Think & Grow are really “across how the startup ecosystem and were able to provide thought leadership when we needed it”
“Anthony came in and really tried to understand what the problem was from a people point of view. He didn’t just take what was given to him – he had a hypothesis and whilst he fully absorbed what we gave to him, he also had his own views which helped us get to a far better result vs. us just telling someone and them just saying yes.”
Fung said “they did a fantastic job as know their stuff at a core level and those fundamentals help to make the decision making process really easy.