UrbanClap, a mobile-based services marketplace grabbed a lot of attention last month after they raised $10 million from their existing investors SAIF and Accel partners. This Delhi-based startup was launched last year by Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra after they realised how painful the whole process of hiring services in India can get. At present, they offer around 50 services on its platform which ranges from providing blue collared services like plumbers and electricians to white collared services which includes yoga instructors, photographers and interior designers.
The need and potential of the service e-commerce drove them to take up this issue and solve it by using smartphones.
“UrbanClap was mainly born out of a strong urge to solve a big consumer problem in India with the help of smartphones. We felt that why is the process of hiring services in this country so tiring and hectic whereas hiring a cab or ordering food is just a click away? That is when we thought about launching an app to make this process simple and easy to use,” says Varun Khaitan, co-founder of UrbanClap.
Within two months since its launch, it saw more than 6,000 seller registrations and 60,000 customer app downloads. According to Varun, all that the customer needs to do is place their request after that the customer will be provided with a list of options and they can interact and negotiate with the professionals on the go with zero manual interruption from their side. “Our main focus is to refine and make the process of hiring services in this country more handy and reliable. We have more than 5,000 professionals and all of them can only use our app to interact with the customers,” says Varun. In an effort to restore ensure credibility of these professionals, they also conduct third-party and police verification of all the listed professionals.
Initially they spent time figuring out the needs and requirements of the customers and professionals and even did a lot of research to get a better understanding of the market. Today, Varun claims that they are leading this space as they were the first ones to venture into this space and have grown 40 times since April. “We are undoubtedly leading this space as we are already doing over 1,500 transactions everyday which is much more than what other platforms are doing, therefore we do enjoy a bigger head start,” says Varun.
Currently they are providing services to Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai and so far have raised $11.6 million.
They are aiming to expand to 15 more cities by end of this fiscal year. Their biggest competitor remains the offline world and they are constantly trying to provide seamless services to bring more customers to use UrbanClap.
“We are working constantly on improving our technology to make more people use our app and recommendations over depending purely on the offline world,” adds Varun.