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Mobile-based services marketplace UrbanClap has raised $10 million in Series A funding from existing investors SAIF and Accel Partners. The Gurgaon-based start-up plans to invest the funds to increase its footprint to at least 10 cities, strengthen its technology and grow its 100-member team to 500+ by the end of 2015.
Through its mobile app, the company, which currently operates in Delhi-NCR, Banglore and Mumbai, enables the user to hire 50+ services including plumbers, electricians, yoga teachers, salon at home and music and dance lessons. Some of its competitors are Taskbob, LocalOye, Housejoy, Jack on Block.
UrbanClap was launched in October 2014 by by Abhiraj Bhal (IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Kanpur, Boston Consultancy Group), Varun Khaitan (IIT Kanpur, Boston Consultancy Group) and Raghav Chandra (early Twitter engineer, University of California, Berkeley). The service started getting traction since the launch of its app this April.
“Till March-end, we received about 30-odd customer requests a day. Today we get around 1,500. It’s a 50x increase,” said Abhiraj Bhal in an interview to Forbes India. With this investment, the start-up plans to grow 10 times on every metric in the quarter.
Experts say the high-level of non-standardisation in service quality, pricing and supplier base makes UrbanClap a good investment opportunity. The market is ripe for disruption, both from a discovery and consumption of services perspective. Mukul Singhal, principal, SAIF Partners said, “We are excited to partner in UrbanClap’s journey of creating a large platform benefiting both consumers and merchants of various services.”
Abhinav Chaturvedi, senior associate, Accel India, said, “The UrbanClap team just does not want to settle for sub-optimal, and constantly keeps trying new things to perfect their model. We believe that their smartphone-based approach, high quality team and sharp focus on customer experience will differentiate them."
UrbanClap has designed two models for its users. For standard blue-collared services like electricians and home cleaning, it allows the user to directly pay for the service on the app. For the white-collared services like photographers and interior designers, which form the larger part of the business, UrbanClap uses an automated match-making algorithm. All professionals listing on the platform are put through a stringent background and police verification process.
While it would not like to go on a category expansion spree right away, they are looking to add one service that’s popular with their customers. “One service which customers want and we don’t have but will look to add is the maid service. That’s a huge pain point for a lot of people.”
Earlier this year, UrbanClap had raised a seed round of $1.6 million from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners, and Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal—the founders of Snapdeal.