UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, one of the fastest growing start-ups in India, is a one stop destination for all urban lifestyle services. The Bengaluru-based home-services company was founded in mid-2014 by Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Varun Khaitan, and Raghav Chandra, with an aim to create an online marketplace that connected customers to local service professionals. It started as an initiative to rally the informal local services of carpenters, plumbers, photographers, and beauticians.
Speaking about the increasing need to organise the unorganised sectors in India, Abhiraj Bhal, CEO, UrbanClap, said, “The entire space of local services is broken where there is no concept of trust, training, predictability and standardisation. What we see today is an off-balanced market since quality and standard is not incentivised. The vast majority of local professionals make only 15k-20k every month and are not rewarded for their good work. It was this realisation that propelled us to start UrbanClap.”
UrbanClap provides services across five primary domains, which include beauty treatment, home and appliance repair, home upkeep, event planning, and health-at-home services. Bhal added, “For our beauty-at-home services, we have around 1000 trained beauticians across eight metropolitan cities who work exclusively for UrbanClap and use high quality cosmetics made separately for our company. We are very bullish about this category that includes party make-up, pedicure-manicure, facial treatment, spa-at-home, etc. They come with everything required, including portable beds, tubs and towels. The second segment includes services for appliances like refrigerators and microwaves. We also provide services related to plumbing, carpentry, and electrical services. The home upkeep services largely include interior decoration, painting, and pest treatment. We also provide event professionals like wedding photographers, DJs, caterers and bartenders. Lastly, our fastest growing segment is the health-at-home services where we provide yoga instructors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and fitness experts.”
Apart from these five segments, UrbanClap also has a long tail of services, which include packers and movers, lawyers, chartered accountants etc. However, the bulk of these services are availed only by the urban middle and upper-middle classes. Abhiraj Bhal said, “If you do everything for everyone, then you end up doing nothing for anyone. Right now, we are focussing on upwardly mobile middle class families and couples who have migrated to new cities.”
In 2015, UrbanClap raised an additional $10 million from SAIF and Accel to boost expansion. In the same year, it went on to raise $25 million in a funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and existing investors. “By the end of 2015, UrbanClap had acquired the position of the most funded start-up in the hyperlocal segment. Out of the total of $77.5 million raised in the segment across 27 rounds in 2015, UrbanClap raised $36.6 million in three rounds”, reports Tracxn, a start-up data tracker.
But according to official documents filed with the Registrar of Companies, UrbanClap posted a loss for 2016. Yet with all the positivity, the company aims to add highly trained service suppliers to the market and has special training centres across Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. They also plan on entering Jaipur, Chandigarh and Dubai in the near future. Abhiraj Bhal stated that the company aims to capitalise on the changing consumer behaviour. According to him, consumers want quality and convenience. Society is fast evolving and time is an issue. If you want your broken appliance fixed, then running after the local guy is cumbersome. Additionally, there is no standardised remuneration model. UrbanClap aims to change this and provide trained professionals for domestic needs who come with pre-decided service charges. For UrbanClap, execution is the key to make any business successful.
Bhal added, “Ideas are a dime a dozen, people who implement these ideas are priceless. Ideas have only 1% value whereas execution has 99% value. We have a world-class team which is undoubtedly the best among the emerging start-ups globally. The hustle, determination, will, and energy within the team has created a culture that aspires only for excellence.