Home services market Urban Company announced on Wednesday that it had raised $ 255 million in a new funding round and confirmed a valuation of $ 2.1 billion, joining more than a dozen other startups in India. who achieved unicorn status this year.
The new funding round – an F Series – was led by Prosus Ventures, Dragoneer and Wellington Management, while Vy Capital, Tiger Global and Steadview participated. The Gurgaon-based startup said * the new round includes a $ 188 million primary capital injection while the rest of the capital comes from a secondary sale by angel investors and other early stage investors.
Formerly known as UrbanClap, the seven-year-old startup offers a range of home services on its platform. Does your air conditioner need maintenance? TV is not working? Does the house need a new coat of paint? Plumbing problems? Need your cleaned and disinfected? How about a haircut done in a location of your choice?
These are just a few of the services Urban business offers its customers, who can place an order through the startup’s app or website and choose the right time and place.
The idea for the startup came from its three co-founders, who in their early 20s wondered why no one else was trying to tackle the industry, which remains largely unorganized, said Raghav Chandra, founder of Urban Company, in an interview with TechCrunch.
What started as an idea is now a unicorn. The startup now operates in 35 cities in India, Singapore, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. More than 35,000 service partners are active on the platform, said Chandra, who is the chief technology officer for Urban Company.
“Urban Company is disrupting a large and fragmented industry that has seen low digital adoption so far,” said Ashutosh Sharma, India Investment Manager at Prosus Ventures.
With its technology platform and willingness to provide trained and high quality service partners, Urban Company has been able to accomplish the very difficult task of producing services. In addition, the initial traction with international expansion into geographies we know well is encouraging and presents a significant growth opportunity in the future, ”he added.
The startup’s rapid growth was sharply paced last year after New Delhi imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Chandra said the startup started to recover last year after the nation started to reopen and had its best month yet in March of this year.
Chandra said the startup will deploy the new capital to further expand in the markets it operates in and work on ways to strengthen the integration, training and safety of service workers on the platform. It is also looking to expand its technology team.
Urban Company spends weeks training and developing the workers who join its platform, Chandra said. Today, the startup also allows workers with expertise in one category to learn about other categories, increasing their chances of getting more work and earning more. Chandra said offering worker development courses will remain one of the key areas as the startup grows.
* The startup had disclosed the new fundraiser in a file with the local regulator in April, but co-founder and chief executive Abhiraj Singh Bhal declined to comment at the time, citing the increase in coronavirus cases in the country.