Google has launched TaskMate, a crowdsourcing app through which users can complete simple paid tasks for businesses, in Kenya.

The tech company is moving onto the beta version of the app after a year-long pilot, with a view to roll-out in other African markets. The app is also being piloted in India, where the beta version is accessible to users with a referral code.

TaskMate divides its available gigs—which are approved by Google—into sitting tasks (such as translation or completing surveys) and field tasks (for example, photographing a building). Users can cash out their remuneration through a payment partner.

“Today we have launched TaskMate, and it’s the first time we have opened it in Africa and across the world,” said TaskMate’s product manager Mike Knapp.

“We went to a pilot phase where we had 1,000 people use the app, and they gave very positive feedback. And so now we’ve moved to the beta phase. And we’re really experimenting at a bigger level at this point.”

He added, “We’re looking for businesses and start-ups to come and experiment with us on the platform, to see how this can help them solve the difficult problems that they’re working on.”

Knapp described the app as “a crowdsourcing platform that simplifies the distribution and accomplishments of tasks from business, for businesses and organizations.” He said that it also afforded Kenyans opportunities, through community building or earning money.

“This is Google’s commitment to build for and with Africa, in its digital transformation journey,” he added.

While the gig economy has been boosted by the pandemic, Google’s interest in recruitment across the developing world predates Covid-19.

In 2019, the tech giant was already making a major play for the Indian recruitment market. At the fifth annual edition of the “Google for India” event held in New Delhi, Google announced the official launch of Jobs Spot. The app within an app was aimed at those looking for entry-level jobs in high-demand segments like hospitality, retail, warehousing and food delivery.

In 2020, Google rebranded Job Spot as Kormo, an app which first launched in Bangladesh in 2018, followed by Indonesia in 2019.

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