Blackstone invests $250 million in outsourcing startup TaskUs

TaskUs, the business process outsourcing service that handles back office customer support for some of the world’s largest tech companies, has raised $250 million from the Blackstone Group.

Its clients include many food-delivery services and almost all social media networks, such as Uber Technologies, Tinder, HotelTonight, Wish and Gusto.

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The Santa Monica-based company began as a browser-based virtual assistant company a decade ago with a $20,000 invested by two co-founders – Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir. “You send us a task and we get the task done,” recalled TaskUs chief executive Bryce Maddock.

Now it manages content for social networks and content annotation. This includes services like answering emails and phone calls when someone’s lunch is mis-delivered, scanning the photos and messages users upload to social networks to filter out unwanted content and image and video tagging.

It’s 11,000 employees spread across the Philippines, Taiwan, Mexico and the US.  About 60 percent of their business is customer service (over phone and email) and the remaining is image tagging or content moderation.

The largest growth areas of TaskUs stem from removing traces of child pornography, inappropriate political content and the trails of human trafficking from the user and advertiser generated content on some of the world’s largest social networks.

 

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