there's an app for that

2 Houstonians launch app that's the 'Uber for home services'

TaskNow offers household tasks and more in Houston. Photo via Getty Images

Houstonians who need help with everyday life projects are now in luck. A locally based app is here to help check items off that to-do — or honey-do — list.

Cleverly dubbed TaskNow, the new app provides on-demand home services via a mobile platform, connecting local service providers to consumers.

Much like the national Thumbtack, TaskNow links skilled professionals with Houstonians to offer cleaning, moving, packing, furniture assembly, TV wall-mounting, pressure washing, on-location car-detailing, and more.

The Bayou City is Houston is the first market where providers are now available, on-demand. Importantly for wary consumers, area service providers have passed background checks in order to be part of the company's roster of task masters.

Help via TaskNow arrives on the same or next day service for most tasks; customers can also schedule the tasks for future dates and times. Creators boast a "unique upfront pricing policy" that is meant to alleviate price-haggling and hidden fee surprises, according to a press release.

"As native Houstonians, we always envisioned launching here in Houston because we love the city and its home for me and Kathryn," Paul Rao, TaskNow's CEO and co-founder tells CultureMap. Rao, an oil and gas executive veteran, launched TaskNow with entrepreneur Kathryn Josey Stone.

"As we continue to grow throughout Texas and across the U.S., Kathryn and I are especially enthused about Houston because it's a turnkey and trusted solution that serves our neighbors and the city," Rao continues.

Notably, service providers deal no advertising requirements or cost to service providers to join TaskNow, press materials note. This is different from Google, online searches, Angie's, and other "pay-to-play" advertising type platforms, founders note.

Future growth plans include statewide service, plus availability in 30 metro markets across the country by 2023, according to Rao and Stone.

"TaskNow is the only on-demand app platform featuring upfront transparent pricing, so there's no negotiating over the phone or email with multiple providers," Rao adds in a statement. "Our design and functionality are very user friendly and simple to use, with clear job descriptions and pricing. It's the Uber for home services."

Those interested can take on tasks, get pricing, and more at the official site.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

VR training startup, HTX Labs, has raised funding from an outside investor for the first time. Courtesy of HTX Labs

HTX Labs, a Houston-based company that designs extended reality training for military and business purposes, announced last week that it has raised its first outside capital.

The company has received a $3.2 million investment from Cypress Growth Capital. Founded in 2017, HTX Labs — developer of the EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform — has been granted funding from the Department of Defense as well as grown its client base of commercial Enterprises. The platform uses virtual and extended reality that "enables organizations to rapidly create, deploy, measure, and sustain cost-effective, secure, and centralized immersive training programs, all within engaging, fully interactive virtual environments," per a news release.

“We have been looking to secure outside capital to accelerate the growth of our EMPACT platform and customer base but we hadn’t found the right partner who provided an investment vehicle that matched our needs,“ says HTX Labs CEO Scott Schneider in the release. “We found everything we were looking for in Cypress Growth Capital. They have a non-dilutive funding model that aligns with our capital expectations and have the level of experience that really makes this smart money.

"Cypress has a decade-long track record of success in helping emerging software and services companies achieve scale," he continues. "It is clear that the team’s collective entrepreneurial and operating experience will be of tremendous benefit to us as we focus on expanding our customer base in a very intentional way.”

The fresh funding will go toward growing and scaling the company's operations — both within the current Department of Defense and expansion opportunities into key commercial markets, like heavy industry, manufacturing, and higher education. Additionally, the funding will support increased customer adoption.

“Scott and his team have built an exceptional business that is poised for dramatic growth,” says Cypress Partner Pat McCaffrey in the release. “HTX Labs’ modern, immersive training solution provides clients with a force multiplier for modernizing training and an unmatched ROI.”

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