Bengaluru-based home maintenance services startup Gapoon has raised $250,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding led by Vida Ventures with participation from independent investors including Snehal Mantri, director, marketing and HR at Mantri Group and Anshu Bahadur, partner at Cognizant.
The firm’s existing angel investors Chandrasekhar BV, a veteran of the telecommunications industry, and Pankaj Kapoor, an investment banker, also participated in the latest funding round.
The investment will be used to launch new product initiatives, strengthen technology platform, penetrate deeper into market segments and expand to other cities, Apoorva Mishra, co-founder and CEO of Gapoon, said in a statement.
“While customers (both homes and businesses) avail of the benefits of our subscription product, the vendors earn up to 40% higher compared with other aggregators. This model drives a favourable unit economics which is easier to replicate in multiple cities,” Mishra said.
The company provides subscription packages offering annual maintenance cover for homes and businesses to house owners, developers, property management aggregators, restaurants and retail outlets. It also operates on an on-demand basis for handyman services like plumbing, electrical, deep cleaning, pest control and civil work.
Operated by Gapoon Online Consumer Services Pvt. Ltd, the Bengaluru-based firm was founded in March 2015 by IIT graduates Mishra, Ankit Bindal, Ankita Asai and Nikhil Gupta. The company received its first round of angel funding in July 2015 and secured an additional $180,000 in March last year.
“We have always believed in the opportunity in the on-demand and subscription-based services for property maintenance. It was a question of finding the right balance. Gapoon’s technology optimises a key element of the equation—cost of acquiring supply and servicing clients,” said Ankit Solanki, advisor at Vida Ventures.
The home services sector has gone through a phase of market correction in the last one year or so after a whole host of ‘me-too’ startups mushroomed in the segment providing handyman services, ranging from home-cleaning and car-washing to laundry, pest control and even hobby classes. The sector has seen some consolidations and shutdowns in this period. However, the investment sentiments seemed to have improved of late with a number of startups raising fresh funds.
In July this year, Mumbai-based online marketplace for home services Timesaverz raised $1 million from media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL).
In May, online classifieds firm Quikr acquired home services marketplace Zimmber in a deal pegged at $10 million. Zimmber had raised a little over $7 million before being acquired by Quikr.
In the same month, Hyderabad-based integrated facility management firm ICS had acquired an undisclosed majority stake in-home services startup Renowala.
In April, Kolkata-based home services firm Frapperz raised an additional $400,000 (Rs 2.57 crore) from existing investors. In the same month, UrbanClap, a well-known player in the space, raised $3.1 million (Rs 20 crore) in debt funding from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital.
Also, on-demand maid service Didi acquired home services startup TimeMyTask in January this year.