FT'S LEX COLUMN
THE LEX COLUMN: The gig is up for on-demand services
Start-ups face higher costs as governments push back against the lack of worker benefits in the gig economy
Why drive, cook, shop and mend if someone else will do it all for you? US start-ups offering low-cost, on-demand home services have exploded in the past decade, outsourcing all sorts of dull domestic duties. Yet government pushback is now threatening to upend the digital platform economy by raising prices.
In theory, the global market for on-demand services could rise 50% by 2022 to almost $900bn, according to technology research company Technavio. Help with food delivery, grocery shopping and odd jobs is as popular as ever. However, this growth depends on governments allowing companies to continue hiring contractors.