Customer services provider TaskUs has raised more than US$300 million after listing its shares on Nasdaq last week. The IPO values the company at US$2.5 billion.
The public listing of TaskUs and related news coverage has helped bring the global CX support business conversation to a new level, driving mainstream attention towards an industry that – in the minds of many – has for too long been relegated to a ‘back-office’ designation. CX is crucially important to business success, especially for new economy companies where TaskUs is most active.
The TaskUs IPO also delivers a huge windfall for its long-term employees and American equity investor Blackstone Group. Blackstone’s US$250 million investment in 2018 is now worth around $1.7 billion and around 400 of its employees are going to get millions of dollars as part of the company’s Phantom stock plan.
The BPO, based out of New Braunfels, Texas, began its journey from a single-room office in the Philippines 13 years ago. Just months before launching the company, founders Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir had been on the edge of starting a yogurt shop in Argentina.
“At the age of 22, with five years of entrepreneurial experience under our belts, we started TaskUs,” the founders wrote in the filing with the US market regulator SEC.
“We use our combined life savings to rent a one room office on the side of a highway south of Manila and hired our first few employees.”
TaskUs has now employed more than 27,000 people across dozens of offices in eight countries including Mexico, India, the United States, the Philippines, Taiwan, Ireland and Colombia.
Nearly 70% of its employees are based out of the Philippines, with around 4,000 working in the US. The firm currently operates in two locations in Latin America – Tijuana, Mexico and Cali, Colombia.
TaskUs makes its money by providing customer support services to the likes of Uber, Zoom, Coinbase, Netflix. It has dedicated more than 2,000 employees to the ride-hailing app alone, according to CNBC.
As of December 2020, the BPO had served a hundred clients spanning a range of industries, including e-commerce, streaming media, food delivery, finance and health.
AI Operations and the Rise in Profits
These days, it seems, the company is making a lot of money by offering to provide content security and artificial intelligence (AI) operations.
For almost a decade, TaskUs struggled to break even. In 2019, its prospects suddenly brightened as tech industry clients began handing out lucrative contracts following a surge in their business.
In a space of 12 months, the BPO went from $871,000 losses to $33.9 million profit.
Its profits, as well as revenue, leapt higher as the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to automate their business functions.
As the pandemic made remote-working ubiquitous, Zoom approached TaskUs, seeking a helping hand to manage customer requests. Today, according to reports, around 700 employees of TaskUs are working on this single account.
Following its IPO, the TaskUs stock is trading under ticker symbol “TASK”.