TaskUs co-founders Bryce Maddock (left) and Jaspar Weir
For Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir, a trip to Nasdaq started in high school in Southern California, continued through a fun venture for high school students and failed a yogurt business in Argentina, and eventually ended up in a Texas city best known for its historic water park.
Now in their mid-30s, Maddock and Weir are worth about $ 400 million and oversee the business with 27,500 employees worldwide. Thirteen years after they invested their life savings in a business named TaskUs, the company held debut on the stock exchange on Friday, and is estimated at about $ 2.8 billion. The stock trading under the symbol “TASK” jumped 26% to $ 29.
TaskUs provides customer support services to fast-growing technology companies, including Uber,, Netflix,, Coinbase i Zoom. Employees are deployed in eight countries, and TaskUs dedicates hundreds or even thousands of staff to its best clients so that it can solve all their support-related problems. Arrival climbed 33% last year to $ 478 million, and TaskUs is profitable – a rarity among new public technology companies – showing annual net income of $ 34.5 million last year.
Maddock, the CEO, says that TaskUs is most often served by companies that “realize that their growth will be so aggressive that they can do it all on their own for longer.”
For example, Zoom called in early 2020, when the growth of the company that launched video chat sparked pandemic growth spurred a 30-fold jump in support requests, according to the online show. Soon TaskUs had 700 employees working on the account.
Clients like Zoom are the reason why Maddock and Weir, the company’s president, headed to Nasdaq on Friday to ring the bell. But the trajectory was not always up and to the right.
Maddock and Weir became best friends two decades ago while attending Santa Monica High School, a few blocks from one of California’s most famous beaches. Weir attended college at the University of Southern California nearby, while Maddock went to New York University across the state.
Still, they put their heads and pocket books together and founded their first business, an entertainment agency that rented spaces around Los Angeles and hosted alcohol-free parties for high school students.
“We grew up in Los Angeles and we realized one thing that kids in high school don’t have a lot of work to do in the summer,” Maddock said in an interview. They called it Club Access and ran the business from 2005 to 2007, attracting 800 to 1,000 children on average on Monday nights.
After college they decided sent a blow to Buenos Aires. Weir studied abroad in Argentina and wanted to start a business there. He and Maddock decided to open a frozen yogurt store. Together they flew down and met investors as well as chemists who could mix flavors. However, they quickly realized that opening a small business in Argentina and earning pesos was not the way to build wealth, so they abandoned the idea before it started.
They went back to their parents and invested the $ 20,000 they saved from business events in their next venture: a task-based virtual assistant. They decided to start in the Philippines, one of the best countries in the world for call centers and outsourcing.
“We used the joint life savings to rent a one-bedroom office next to the highway an hour south of Manila and hire the first few employees,” they wrote in part of the prospectus in a letter from the founders.
In their initial conversations with start-ups, Maddock and Weir said they quickly learned that employed executives don’t want task-based help, but need a more thorough support service to help them grow. TaskUs has expanded its focus to include more business processes, and the founders have received several risk-supported start-ups on board.
“As we have gained their trust, we have taken on more critical parts of their operations, such as advanced technical support and critical content review,” they wrote.
By 2012, TaskUs had been established enough to hit the Uber radar, which was still in its early development, although it was rapidly expanding and raising large circles of ventures. Maddock said the message from Uber at the first meeting in San Francisco was that a company that welcomes cars will never entrust its services. That completely changed the following year.
“They called us and said that transfer now sounds like a good idea,” Maddock said.
TaskUs began working with Uber in 2013, inspecting and boarding drivers, according to the prospectus. In 2014, he started helping with driver and driver support. A year later, TaskUs had more than 2,000 people dedicated to Uber.
Similarly, TaskUs started working with Coinbase as demand began to grow. It was in 2017, when “bitcoin became the main obsession, and the amount of support jumped through the roof,” the report says. Over time, TaskUs began to address fraud, compliance, and customer needs for Coinbase.
The Philippines is still the company’s largest hub, with more than 19,000 or 70% of its employees. The United States is the second largest country with more than 4,000 employees, followed by India and Mexico.
TaskUs ’original headquarters were in Santa Monica, but he began moving to Texas in 2016 by opening an office in San Antonio and then to nearby New Braunfels, which became his current headquarters. New Braunfels is home to the Schlitterbahn, a 42-year-old water park that spans more than 70 acres and is one of the largest employers in the city with 80,000 people.
Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort in New Braunfels, Texas.
Erich Schlegel | Getty Images
Maddock and Weir live in Austin, about 50 miles north of New Braunfels. Before the pandemic, they said they spent about 75% of their time traveling to their various offices, including six to eight trips a year to the Philippines.
They are eager to get back on the road and into the air, although as key figures in the publicly traded company they have insurance policies that “prohibit travel on the same plane,” Maddock said.
In addition to Maddock and Weir, the TaskUs IPO is a great opportunity for Blackstone Group, which andinvested about $ 250 million in 2018 and eventually controlled about two-thirds of the company. Including shares sold in the IPO, that stake is now worth about $ 1.7 billion.
Maddock and Weir were able to retain significant ownership – 16% at the time of the IPO – because they had taken only $ 15 million in external financing before the deal with Blackstone.
“We started the business for seven years, living on a big budget with our parents,” Weir said in an interview. “Fortunately, our parents didn’t charge us rent.”
Unlike a typical risk-supported technology company, TaskUs did not issue traditional stock options to its employees because it was originally structured as a limited liability company. Instead, in 2015, he created a “phantom stock plan” and awarded grants that would increase them when the company reached milestones and liquidity events.
Maddock said that after the Blackstone transaction in 2018, the company paid 44 million dollars for more than 200 employees, who owned phantom shares. After the IPO, he said that a total of over 120 million dollars will be paid for more than 400 employees.
“In the Philippines, we have teammates and leaders who will earn hundreds of thousands, and in some cases over a million dollars,” Maddock said.