UrbanClap open to acquisition in on-demand laundry space.
Announces foray in Pune; targets to add 200,000 professionals on its market place by end Dec 2016.
Pune | Red Newswire | By Business Standard | Nov 21, 2015 03:01 AM IST.
UrbanClap, which runs a marketplace to find local professionals, said it was open to acquisitions as it plans to expand its category in areas such as on-demand laundry. The company had raised Rs 165 crore in Series-B funding lead by Bessemer Venture Partners.
“In the last 1.5 years we have grown organically, but there are areas where we may look at an acquisition. We want to expand into the on-demand laundry space and we may look at an inorganic approach. This space has been a difficult to crack and several of the players are catering to local market and yet to expand,” co-founder Abhiraj Bhal said in Pune, which the company entered on Thursday. While refusing to give details on the timeline of the acquisition or the target, Bhal did say UrbanClap would like to acquire a team which will then manage and work around the laundry segment.
UrbanClap, which has so far raised a total of $37 million, plans to use the current round of funding for expanding its presence, increase the size of its team and the number of professionals on its marketplace and invest in technology.
“We want to have 200,000 professionals on our marketplace by end of December 2016. At present that number is 20,000. This is a herculean task and if we do achieve this, we will be one of the largest marketplaces in India. Along with this, we will increase our team size from the current 300 to 500,” Bhal said.
At present UrbanClap serves 5,000 customers a day and its app download number has touched 500,000 on the iOS and Android platforms.
UrbanClap operates its services in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. It will expand into Hyderabad and Ahmedabad by the end of this year. This will be followed by cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Kolkata.
The current round of funding values the company at over $100 million. Bhal refused to disclose any of its growth numbers but said the company’s operations in Delhi have reached profitability and Mumbai is another city which will soon reach that target. “Delhi for us is the largest market since we started from there. Our services category in Delhi also stands at 78, one of the highest in any city,” he added.
UrbanClap has developed an algorithm which shortlists a set of professionals to whom the leads are relevant. Bhal said a plumber on UrbanClap makes an average of Rs 25,000-30,000 a month from their earlier Rs 7,000-8,000. Similarly in the salon category, a salon professional would ideally get a salary of Rs 13,000-15,000 a month, now makes around Rs 65,000.
“We have gone a step ahead from being just an aggregator. Every supplier on our platform is verified. This includes verification for their identity as well as their criminal records. We have hired retired police personnel for verification and as we expand into cities we will add these professionals for local verification. We are also tying up with institutes like NSDC and NGOs for training of plumbers, electricians etc,” Bhal said.
UrbanClap is also making it simpler for the users to use its platform. It asks for a series of questions for each service category, so that they can make an accurate match for services providers. UrbanClap is also further adding features like payment gateway, training and webinars for suppliers.