Can a successful business model be replicated in 80 countries? The marketplace for services seems to be the new wave of companies that is revolutionizing the way people hire services.
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The marketplace for services is a fast growing segment in India. Companies like Localoye, UrbanClap, Mr. Right, TimeSaverz, Taskbob, Zimmber, Zepper, Doormint, and Urbanpro are some of the main players in this segment.
Recently, StarOfService, a French MNC with a presence in close to 80 countries, launched its operations in India. The company sees stiff competition in the country, but it is quite excited about the large pool of professionals.
After being successful in France where 3 entrepreneurs bootstrapped with just € 15,000 and kept it operational for 2 years, the company raised € 400,000 in seed capital in November 2014, they then went on to raise another €1.1 million in a Series A round in March 2015.
Today, the company claims to have a presence in close to 80 countries. They made their services available in India less than 4 months ago, and the company already has over 15,000 professionals registered on their website.
Afzal Khan, Area Manager for the Asia Pacific region said, "We are aware of both the challenges and the opportunities that we face in India. Although, India has a massive population, the number of internet users is only 15%. Out of this, many are only mobile. However, we are still pretty optimistic about our growth here. We've always considered ourselves to be a global company and are looking to expand worldwide. I don't think there is any company in our segment that has a presence in 80 different companies. Our international team of country managers give us an edge over our competition."
Replicating their French model Internationally
The company followed a unique strategy in France which the internal team is still very tight-lipped about. They beat some of their bigger competitors with good old fashioned hustling. Toni Paignant, COO of the company said, "In France, we're doing better than our competitors who have big advertising budgets. We've always followed a very lean and agile strategy that has gotten us results. We're seeing good results internationally too. Countries like Indonesia, Italy, India and Germany are growing pretty quickly."
Similar companies like UrbanClap raised $10 million in June this year, Doormint raised $3 million, Zimmber about $2 million, and Taskbob raised about $1.2 million in seed capital. This space is still in its very nascent stage, but the competition seems to be heating up. After JustDial, Getit and other directory sites that were popular about a decade ago, this seems to be the new wave of companies that is revolutionizing the way people hire services.