British TV station Channel Four takes 20% stake in UK arm of Airtasker for $6.5 million

    The ASX-listed job market is looking to expand its UK business in a deal with leading TV channel Channel Four.

    The broadcaster’s VC arm, 4 Ventures, Britain’s leading media-for-equity investor is tipping $6.5m (£3.5m) for a 20% stake in Airtasker UK, the company’s UK subsidiary.

    Channel 4, which gave the world the reaction series Gogglebox on home TV, Black Mirror, Derry Girls and Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs reach around 78% of the UK’s population, 47 million people, each month.

    It also developed the comedy game show Taskmaster, seen locally on SBS.

    Tim Fung, founder and CEO of Airtasker, said the deal will accelerate Airtasker’s market growth in the UK through access to the UK’s largest free streaming service, with more than 1.2 billion views a year.

    “We are super excited to welcome 4 Ventures as a strategic partner in Airtasker UK,” said Fung.

    “In Australia, we were able to harness the power of television to make Airtasker a house brand and together with Seven West Media deliver 20x revenue growth in 5 years – and we believe we can do even better with Channel 4 in the UK! ”

    Seven took a 15% stake in Airtasker when it was just four years old in 2016, before selling out when the company listed on the ASX in 2021.

    Vinay Solanki, boss of 4 Ventures, said they are eager to support the launch of the Airtasker marketplace in the UK.

    “A key strength of Airtasker is that it allows people to earn additional income through flexible working on their own terms, which will undoubtedly benefit the public in the current economic climate,” he said.

    “We hope that the Airtasker brand will soon achieve the wide reach and exposure only possible through the powerful medium of TV advertising.”

    Last week, Airtasker announced a boardroom change, with Cass O’Connor taking on the role of chairman as key investor James Spenceley after eight years at the helm of the company.

    Spenceley, a seed money investor in Airtasker, is focusing on his humanitarian efforts in war-torn Ukraine, having founded a humanitarian organization Aus Ukraine aid.

    In April, the company (ASX:ART) announced it would cut its workforce by 20%, cutting 45 jobs, to return to the black thread.

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