Podcast with Airtasker

I'm Chris Titley, and I recently sat down Tim Fung, the founder and CEO of Airtasker, as part of the Sub11 podcast.

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Airtasker: A Global Perspective

I'm Chris Titley, and I recently sat down Tim Fung, the founder and CEO of Airtasker, as part of the Sub11 podcast. Our conversation delved into Airtasker's recent financial performance, international expansion, and strategic use of media partnerships to enhance brand awareness.

Financial Performance and Strategic Focus

Airtasker has been laser-focused on generating positive free cash flow, a significant shift from the capital-intensive growth strategy of previous years. Tim shared that the company achieved a positive free cash flow of approximately $2.6 million in the last quarter, a dramatic improvement from a $7 million negative position in the corresponding period the previous year. This financial turnaround has been achieved while maintaining an 11% growth in group revenue.

International Expansion: The US and UK Markets

Airtasker’s international ventures, particularly in the US and the UK, are progressing well. In the US, the focus has been on maintaining tight cost controls while gearing up for a media partnership strategy, inspired by successful collaborations in the UK. The partnership with Channel 4 in the UK has led to a significant 60% increase in GMV run rate over the past six months. This approach allows Airtasker to establish a presence in new markets without replicating the extensive fixed costs associated with building a platform from scratch.

The Infinite Horizontal Model

One of the unique aspects of Airtasker’s model is its open community and infinitely horizontal approach. Unlike platforms that target specific verticals, Airtasker allows users to define the types of tasks available, resulting in a diverse and self-sustaining ecosystem of services. This user-driven content model ensures that Airtasker adapts to consumer demands organically across different markets.

Embracing AI and Operational Efficiency

We also discussed the role of AI in Airtasker’s operations. Tim emphasized that while AI presents significant opportunities for operational efficiency and enhancing user experience, the core of Airtasker’s business—connecting people for real-world tasks—remains resilient against automation. The company is exploring AI to improve customer service, task descriptions, and price estimations, but remains cautious about over-investing during the current AI hype cycle.

Strategic Media Partnerships

Airtasker's partnership with oOH Media is an innovative approach to scaling brand awareness. This deal provides Airtasker with $6 million in media exposure across Australia’s extensive network of billboards and digital signage. The agreement, structured as a $5 million convertible note, offers flexible financial terms that are highly capital efficient. This partnership is expected to significantly boost Airtasker’s brand visibility.

The Future

As a publicly listed company on the ASX, Airtasker is committed to maintaining financial discipline and responding to investor expectations. Tim expressed his excitement about leveraging the stable base of profitability to drive future growth. The company’s media partnership strategy, which maximises the impact of each dollar spent on marketing, is a key element of this growth plan. With ongoing collaborations in Australia, the UK, and potentially the US, Airtasker is poised to enhance its global footprint and brand recognition.

As we look ahead, I’m eager to see how Airtasker continues to evolve and capitalise on new opportunities in the ever-changing landscape of the gig economy.

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