Mobile-only local services marketplace UrbanClap raises $10M from Accel & SAIF Partners

Delhi-based UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, which runs a mobile-only marketplace to find local service professionals under the UrbanClap brand, has raised $10 million (Rs 64 crore) in Series A funding from existing investors SAIF Partners and Accel Partners.

UrbanClap plans to use the money to expand operations, strengthen technology and grow its team, the company said in a release.

“The problem we are solving, hiring of a trusted local service professional, is challenging. The world over, companies have attempted to solve with, with limited success. We are committed to solving this problem deeply and end-to-end, no matter how long it takes. With the new funding, we plan to grow 10 times on every metric in the quarter," said co-founder Abhiraj Bhal.

Founded in October 2014 by Varun Khaitan (IIT Kanpur and former BCG executive), Abhiraj Bhal (IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Kanpur and former BCG executive) and Raghav Chandra (UC Berkeley and former Twitter executive), UrbanClap connects service professionals such as plumbers, wedding photographers, yoga teachers and interior designers with customers.

Currently, the company is serving over 1,000 customer requests daily and has a database of more than 5,000 suppliers that are connected to its merchant app, it said.

UrbanClap works on two models. In the first one, customers can directly book and pay on its app for blue-collar services. For white-collar services such as photography, interior designing, yoga and others, the company tries to understand user needs and helps in hiring the right professional.

“Local services are a big market and a pain point for consumers. The market is ripe for disruption, both from a discovery and consumption of services perspective," said Mukul Singhal, principal, SAIF Partners.

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 the model. Its smartphone-based approach, high quality team and sharp focus on customer experience will differentiate it." 

In April this year, UrbanClap had raised $1.6 million in seed funding from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.

Local services marketplace attracted a lot of investors this year. Other companies which raised funding include LocalOye (Tiger Global and Lightspeed), Qyk (Zishaan Hayath, co-founder,; Abhishek Goyal, co-founder,; and Delhivery co-founder Sahil Barua), (led by Anupam Mittal, CEO of People Group, and Manish Vij of Smile Vun Group), FindYahan (led by Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India), TaskBob (Orios Venture Partners & Mayfield India) and (Nirvana Venture).

Till recently, the fragmented and unorganised local services market was being served through local business listing firms such as Just Dial. In that model, users received phone numbers and also got direct calls from professionals/service providers after they posted their requirements. 

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