On-demand home services start-up Zimmber bags $2M from 4 top-notch VC firms
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
The home services industry in India is highly fragmented, unorganized and non-standardized. Greater adoption of GPS-enabled mobile phones and the rise of on-demand economy allows for smart technology solutions to transform the lives of home service providers, while injecting greater price transparency, safety and better quality of service standards for consumers.
Once such on-demand home service marketplace start-up Zimmber provides home services across nine main categories like Home SPA, Laundry, AC servicing, Plumbing, Electrical Repair Services, Pest Control Services, Painting Services, Carpentry Services, Laundry and Driver on Demand in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Gurgaon.
The start-up has recently raised around $2 million in its Pre-Series A round of funding from four of the top-notch VC firms, including IDG Ventures India; Omidyar Networks; T.V. Mohandas Pai, ex-Member of Board of Directors of Infosys and Co-Founder of Aarin Capital; and from Ram Shriram, Founding Board member of Google through Sherpalo Ventures.
"Local services market is unorganized in India. Zimmber delivers a plethora of services through its platform that one needs every day, but is not sure of where to find. To solve this issue using technology is the challenge. The mobile first approach combined with the operational experience of the founding team is what got us excited about the opportunity," said Ranjith Menon, Executive Director, IDG Ventures India.
Zimmber was founded in October 2014 by Anubhab Goel, CEO and Co-Founder; Amit Kumar, COO and Co-Founder; and Gaurav Shrivastava, CTO and Co-Founder. They are soon planning to expand to entire NCR and Navi Mumbai region.
Commenting on the round, Goel said, "The funds received will be used to add more categories, develop our technology and expand to other tier I, II and III cities. We plan to enter 37 new cities and also expand to 20 categories by early 2016. We are growing 2X week on week and would want to carry on that trajectory for next few months."
The problem that Zimmber is trying to solve is organising the extremely fragmented local services marketplace. Trusting servicemen with local services is a very big problem that consumers face today. Hence, Zimmber is addressing this particular problem by training these people, whom they call as Champs.
Amit Kumar, COO and Co-founder said, "We are a much focused company with strong business fundamental in place. Our motto is simple – For customers – Make their life easy; for employees – A place to be me; and for Champs – a better life."
Sharing his thought about how Zimmer is contributing towards building a skilled workforce for the country, T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education and ex-Infosys, said, "Zimmber is successfully trying to regulate the service quality, pricing and vendor base in local services space. We are very happy to partner with them and hope that they become the one-stop solution for each and every household in the country. The skill building of India would not be complete without the assistance of business models such as Zimmber, which is creating the earning opportunity for skilled resources."
Past fund raising activity
Earlier last month, Zimmber had raised $400K (around Rs 2.5 crore) from Bengaluru-based InMobi's co-founders Naveen Tiwari, Mohit Saxena and Amit Gupta, along with Chief Product Officer Piyush Shah, and Manish Dugar, who were also involved in the funding round.
Prior to this, Zimmber had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of angel investors, including Praveen Sinha, Co-founder and MD of online fashion retailer Jabong; Vivek Khemka of Egon Zender; Satyam Bansal of Flipkart and Alex Kuruvilla of Conde Nast.
The local services sector has been receiving huge VC (Venture Capitalist) interest in India these days, with more than 69 start-ups in this space being founded alone in 2014. However, only few of them see a real traction and are expected to move to next stage. The opportunity in India is estimated to be as high as $4 billion, which is set to explode as VCs tap into tier II and III cities in India.