URBAN CLAP JOURNEY FROM UNORGANISED SERVICE SECTOR TO 6000 CR COMPANY
A strong belief in oneself can significantly address problems and sometimes works as a solution. As the famous author Sir James Matthew Barrie said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it” so keep believing in yourself, it will help you to stay ahead in this competitive world.
It was 2013. Varun Khaitan and Abhiraj Bhal, two college friends decided to leave their jobs and try their luck in this rising wave of the Indian startup industry. These two budding entrepreneurs started by researching the Indian market and got astonishing results. They understood that India is the current business hub and has huge opportunities for startup. After an even more thorough analysis of the industry, they decided to invest in the service industry. Finding their niche in the online field service industry, they started UrbanClap. It was born with the support of local service providers. It opened many doors for them and enabled them to deliver their service in an effective way.
But suddenly in the year 2014, Abhiraj left, Varun was searching for another tech co-founder and he met with Raghav Chandra and they together decided to started something of personalized services. Varun added that India is a colorful country with so many festivals and social occasion we love to celebrate and people want a superior service experience. Keeping this in mind, they put 10 lakh rupees as a seed money and started their journey with the mission to deliver home service requirements in a minimal time frame.
The way UrbanClap has evolved over the years reflects the evolution of the market as well. started out using the lead generation model for suppliers, who would respond to customer needs. It slowly evolved into a reverse auction model in which there are many potential suppliers for a customer. The app was launched in March 2015. The real challenge began when the company started going directly to service professionals rather than contractors or middlemen. It had to ensure quality to the consumer while making sure that the service professionals make enough money to stay on the platform and make this their primary source of work. “If a beautician is working for a salon, she might be getting ₹15,000-20,000; if she works as a freelancer, we would have to guarantee her a certain amount of money,” Chandra says. “These individuals are the most atomic form of business units in our society. Because they are not fully businesses, they need a lot of help. If India needs to grow, if consumers need to benefit, they have to be empowered.”
So, they decided to solve all these issues by building a mobile app called UrbanClap, which delivers home related solution instantly. Some challenges that UrbanClap faced in their start period.
In many places in India where people were not familiar with mobile applications, the UrbanClap team taught them how it works and gave them assurance of benefits. When UrbanClap came to this complicated marketplace they gave their best to create trust among the customers and service providers as well. All businesses need huge financial support to build their name. Like all start-ups, UrbanClap also fought with the monetary crisis.
After overcoming all these challenges, UrbanClap grew fast and soon caught the eye of investors. In a short span of time, the company noticed by the astute business leader Ratan Tata.
Today, UrbanClap is already a big brand in the hyperlocal space. The hyperlocal sector recorded 80 PE/VC investment deals worth $2.3 billion in the period 2013-2018, mainly skewed by a single large $1-billion investment in Swiggy by Naspers, DST Global and others in 2018, according to an EY report on e-commerce in Indi