Delhi-based UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, which runs a mobile-only marketplace to find local service professionals under the UrbanClap brand, has raised Rs 10 crore ($1.6 million) in seed funding from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, it said on Thursday.
The company currently serves in Delhi-NCR and plans to use the money to strengthen its technology and team, while scale up the platform to more service categories and cities.
Founded in October 2014 by Varun Khaitan (IIT Kanpur and BCG), Abhiraj Bhal (IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Kanpur and BCG) and Raghav Chandra (UC Berkeley and Twitter), UrbanClap connects service professionals such as plumbers, wedding photographers, yoga teachers or interior designers to consumers.
“With the backing of our investors, we plan to scale the platform across hundreds of services and multiple cities,” said Raghav Chandra, co-founder, UrbanClap.
“Being early investors in product e-commerce in India, we believe in the power of a marketplace for services. Meeting the UrbanClap team, we realised how the problem of local services is elegantly solved with smartphone-based reverse auction/booking solution as opposed to a classifieds list,” said Subrata Mitra, partner, Accel India.
Local services marketplace has become a hot vertical with a bunch of startups getting funding in quick succession. Another venture in the same space is TaskBob which has also just raised $1.2 million (Rs 7.5 crore) from Orios Venture Partners and Mayfield India.
Early this week, LocalOye raised $5 million from Tiger Global and Lightspeed. Early this year, Qyk had raised angel funding from a group of investors, including Zishaan Hayath, co-founder, Toppr.com; Abhishek Goyal, co-founder, Tracxn.com; and Delhivery co-founder Sahil Barua.
Gurgaon-based Thumbspot Inc., the firm behind the online services marketplace Near.in, received Rs 1.8 crore (under $300,000) in seed funding co-led by Anupam Mittal, CEO of People Group, and Manish Vij of Smile Vun Group. Other investors who participated in the round include Prashant Tandon and Gaurav Agarwal (both part of Healthkart.com), Akash Agarwal of SAP Labs, Himanshu Aggarwal of education firm Aspiring Minds, besides Kevin Parikh of consulting firm Avasant.
Another venture Delhi NCR-based FindYahan India Pvt Ltd raised an angel funding round led by Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India. Others who participated in the round included Parvesh Bareja (director, HeliosPacks), Sunjay Kapur (Sona Koyo Steering), and Amanpreet Bajaj (co-founder, LetsBuy.com).
Till now, the fragmented and unorganised local services market was being served through local business listing such as Just Dial. In that model, users received phone numbers and also got direct calls from professionals after they posted their requirements.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)