UrbanClap was conceived by IITians Varun Khaitan and Abhiraj Bhal. Batch mates from IIT Kanpur, they have known each other for a decade now. UrbanClap is the result of a series of overseas discussions over conference calls. They later got together in Delhi. They met Raghav Chandra, an engineer at Twitter, through mutual friends and got on like a house on fire. Their shared ambitions, interests, and complementary skill sets drew them together. Thus, UrbanClap was born.
The Journey so Far
The company founded by the trio is claimed to be one of the largest mobile-based local services marketplace in India today. They have raised Rs 10 crores in funding from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners, and the founders of Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
UrbanClap basically enables users to find any blue collared or white collared service professional like a plumber, a wedding photographer, a dance teacher, an architect, or a financial advisor.
UrbanClap connects its users to their desired professional who can do exactly what they want at a competitive price, as easy as clapping your hands.
Hence the name UrbanClap.
Market Scope According to Investors
Investors seem to take an added interest in this Hyperlocal Market sector. After raising the seed round of $1.6M, Urban Clap has now raised $ 10 million in funding from its existing investors SAIF Partners and Accel Partners. The company, which is currently serving Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, and Mumbai metro cities, plans to invest the funds to scale its operations Pan-India, strengthening its technology by perfecting it continuously, and growing its current 100 member team to 500+.
Mukul Singhal, SAIF Partners, believes that local Services is a very big market in India and a major pain point for the Indian consumer. He believes there needs to be standardization in terms of service, quality, pricing, and supplier base. The market is ripe for disruption, both from the discovery and consumption of services perspective.
UrbanClap has disrupted the marketplace with its innovative technology platform.
Abhinav Chaturvedi, Accel India, believes that UrbanClap’s Smartphone-based approach, high-quality team, and razor-sharp focus on customer experience and satisfaction will differentiate them and make them stand apart from the crow and other competitors. He believes that they are far along the path to success. Started in October 2014, UrbanClap has grown monumentally.
Secret to Success
The founders claim that they are not looking at revenues and the sole focus of the company is on creating value for professionals and customers at the moment. Customer satisfaction is the key to any business’s success as it literally translates into the word of mouth and excellent rating.
UrbanClap plans to invest the funds in strengthening its technology which forms the crux, and its major differentiator. They also plan to expand the team while simultaneously scale the platform to offer more service categories and cities.
Subrata Mitra, Partner of Accel India believes that they are early investors in product e-commerce. Local services in a large economy like India make the market size of $50B+ which is growing fast. He believes in the power of a marketplace for services. The UrbanClap team solves the problem of local services elegantly with a smartphone-based approach which does reverse auction/booking solution as opposed to a classifieds list. The level of engagement of providers and users is very high, which is a key ingredient to the success of any marketplace.
As with any other successful business, UrbanClap comes with its own set of challenges.
According to the two co-founders, understanding and building, the right product for both the customers and the professionals has been a big challenge.
As this is a consumer-oriented business, they have been building this business out of deep empathy for their users. They have been working closely with their users, understanding the needs of their customers and spending considerably on understanding their users and how they use UrbanClap – at their homes, offices, cafes, and elsewhere.
With more than 1,000 service providers currently listed, including individuals and companies, UrbanClap claims to be the largest mobile-based services marketplace in India now. The startup, however, aspires to be more than just a listings platform. Co-founder Varun Khaitan says that UrbanClap’s matchmaking engine sets up potential customers with the best service providers in their area, saving them from the tedious task of going through hundreds of listings or having to rely on word-of-mouth referrals or not-so-trustworthy fliers and brochures.
Innovation Based on Experience is the Key
This mobile market place service has been based on everyday experience faced by the common man. From finding a good guitar teacher for your kid to finding the right kind of wedding photographer in your budget, almost all of us have faced some sort of tedious occurrences. The founders honed in on this situation and captured the local marketplace in order to captivate their customers.
Many services already offer the mobile marketplace, but UrbanClap has taken it up a notch by providing users matchmaking criteria, which helps them find the best service provider within the best price. This is done by a complex matchmaking algorithm which the founders are investing heavily to continue perfecting. Competitors include Justdial, Sulekha as well as Localoye which received funding recently.
UrbanClap’s matchmaking algorithm is its key differentiator because the customers receive responses in less than three hours, while service providers enjoy the benefit of more business and higher conversion rates because they only get the most relevant leads.
The company is currently testing two new platform models – one for blue-collared services like electric work, plumbing, or home cleaning where it directly picks the best available personnel and another for white-collared professional services like photographers, dance teachers, yoga instructors, or interior designers where it takes in the customer request and with help of their innovative algorithm, gives a choice of sellers to the customer to pick from.
UrbanClap has more than 10,000 professionals on its platform since its inception in 2014 across four major cities – Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
Contact OurBusinessLadder Market Research Consultant for more about UrbanClap-Climb the “Urban” ladder!