Mumbai-based Timesaverz Dotcom Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online marketplace for home services, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) from media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL), a top company executive told VCCircle.
Debadutta Upadhyaya, co-founder and CEO of Timesaverz, said the company raised the funds through an ad-for-equity deal, which is how BCCL typically invests. According to the company's filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, it raised the sum in January by issuing five warrants valued at Rs 1.3 crore each.
“The BCCL network offers platforms to reach out to our target group base and the ad-for-equity deal helps us in optimising our marketing efforts to scale up growth,” Upadhyaya said.
Timesaverz had last raised funds in 2015, when it secured $2.3 million (Rs 15 crore then) in Series A funding from Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures. In 2014, it raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Internet business professional Neville Taraporewalla and GSF Superangels founder Rajesh Sawhney. Upadhyaya added that the company was currently not looking to raise funds as it was focused on unit economics.
“We are already return on investment (RoI)-positive in two (cleaning and handymen) of the five operating categories, as well as in two out of the five operating cities. We would like to build on that,” Upadhyaya said without divulging the names of the two cities. The startup currently offers services in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and Hyderabad, and is set to roll out operations in Ahmedabad and Chennai.
Founded in July 2012, Timesaverz offers home services such as cleaning, pest-control and plumbing, among other handymen jobs. Besides, it offers on-demand and maintenance services for companies and residential societies. Recently, it also introduced yearly subscription packages for customers.
Prior to founding Timesaverz, Upadhyaya led video ad network Vdopia’s Asia-Pacific business. Before that, she headed sales for Yahoo India. Bhatia has held leadership positions at Vdopia, Aptech, Sony Entertainment Television, NDTV Media and Viacom 18.
The home services sector has seen some consolidation and shutdowns in recent times. In May, online classifieds firm Quikr India Pvt. Ltd acquired home services marketplace Zimmber in a deal pegged at $10 million. Zimmber had raised a little over $7 million prior to its buyout.
However, Upadhyaya said Timesavserz was not in talks with anyone for a potential acquisition. “Currently, we are focused on building a fundamentally sound company with the right unit economics,” she clarified.
In January, Mumbai-based home services startup Taskbob, run by Crenovative Ideas Pvt Ltd, shut down operations.