This Entrepreneur is Carving a Niche in Mobile Local Services
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They are the 35 boldest entrepreneurs of India who are changing the game in various industries and together they represent the optimism, inventiveness and boldness of India's millennial entrepreneurs. They have not just questioned the conventional wisdom but answered it with their fiery and risky business undertakings. They have inspired every young Indian to not shy away from breaking the status quo, rewriting the rules and transforming the world.
Entrepreneur Magazine is glad to present Abhiraj Bhal, the co-founder of Urbanclap.com who made it to our 35 under 35 special.
UrbanClap was started 2.5 years back with the vision to organize the local services market in India. The idea was to create a large tech business which primarily caters to customers need. The local services industry is very fragmented and unorganized. Sharing his start-ups story, Abhiraj says, “When we started UrbanClap, hiring a plumber, beautician, yoga trainer, math tutor etc. was a painful process. There were no standards, no concept of trust, pricing inefficiencies, and the industry was shackled in the “yellow pages” era. We saw this as a large opportunity.” By leveraging technology, and a set of simple yet powerful processes, the company has been able to build a fairly disruptive platform, which is now the default way to hire these services in India. “Equally important is the massive impact we have created for 50,000+ service professionals and small businesses, for most of whom, UrbanClap is the dominant, if not the only way to grow their business,” he adds. The company generated business of more than 60 crores in last one year. Beauticians working at salons, who earn Rs.15,000 a month now earn upto Rs.45,000, through the leads Urbanclap sends them.
When not busy at UrbanClap, Abhiraj enjoys immersing himself in interesting experiences, be it running a marathon, sky-diving, scuba diving or cooking his wife Urvi’s favourite dish.
Talking about the hardest decision he made in his business, Abhiraj says, “One such decision was when we took a call to monetize the platform. While we were confident about our product and service delivery, the thought of going from a free to a paid platform was a slightly intimidating from the partner side perspective.”
“We are hopeful to become profitable by 2018,” adds Bhal. The company has raised36.5 million dollars so far. With series A fund of $10 milion, Delhi based, UrbanClap, is carving a niche in mobile local services and it has managed to raise $ 25 million funds from Bessemer, Saif and Accel Partners. Moreover, Ratan Tata invested in UrbanClap in December 2015. However, the value of the investment was not disclosed. One year down the line, Urbanclap sees itself serving 100,000 requests a day. Currently, Urbanclap is available in eight cities and is exploring launching one or two or more cities, with international operations starting by early 2018.
(This article was first published in the February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)