Maintaining a household in this fast-paced lifestyle is a great balancing act. Every once in a while, you would have a clogged kitchen sink, stained bathrooms, faulty home appliances, pest problem, grooming, and what not! These problems need to be fixed not only by a skilled professional, but he should also be reliable and trustworthy, and charge reasonable rates. Connecting with these people is a major problem faced by homeowners.
Urban Company is solving this important consumer need by helping its users hire premium service professionals, from beauticians and masseurs to sofa cleaners, carpenters, and technicians. It builds quality supply in a trust-deficit market by using a tech-centric approach and is enabling service professionals to be micro-entrepreneurs. These budding entrepreneurs could consider the company as a learning school.
Urban Company was founded in 2014 as UrbanClap by Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra. The company is one of the few survivors of the 2016 hyperlocal slump and is a major player in the home services space. The company offers services such as beauty and spa at home, cleaning, plumbing, carpentry, appliance repair, painting, etc. through its mobile app and website.
The company provides a platform that allows skilled and experienced professionals to connect with users looking for specific services. All the professionals, irrespective of their skills and experience, undergo intensive training modules before being allowed to list their services on the platform. The match-making algorithm on the platform identifies professionals who are closest to the users’ requirements and available at the requested date and time.
Since its inception, the startup has built a network of 40,000+ trained service professionals and served over 5 million customers across 18 cities in India, and also in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sydney and Singapore. The company has over 25 training centers across India with about 100 trainers who train their partners to deliver quality services. It has also signed an MoU with the NSDC to mobilize, train and certify service professionals across India.
In August 2020, the company announced its 3rd and largest ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) sale of USD $5 Million. Under this program, employees were given the option to liquidate their vested ESOPs, which were purchased through a secondary transaction by existing investor Vy Capital. More than 180 employees were found eligible for this round of ESOPs.
“This is our third and largest ESOP sale event and re-affirms our commitment towards creating a world-class ESOP program. The previous two ESOP sale events were held in June 2017 and December 2018 respectively. Additionally, Urban Company’s ESOP program has very employee friendly terms, such as an exercise price of Re. 1, accelerated vesting, a flat 4-year vesting schedule (25% each year) and an infinite hold period to exercise the ESOPs after the employee leaves the company. Approximately 450 employees, or 40% of the company’s full-time staff have ESOPs, from customer service representatives to our SVPs.”
– Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-founder
Beauty, grooming, home repair and maintenance services have recovered after the pandemic, as customers are satisfied with the company’s 8 key safety and hygiene measures, including mandatory PPE Kits, sanitization of tools and equipment and utilizing single-use disposables. Urban Company is recognized as a 2020 #TechFast50IN2020 winner.
The company runs 10x Engineering, a podcast by engineers for engineers focusing on what it takes to create true 10x impact.
Urban Company raised Series F funding of USD 255 million in June 2021. The Series F round was led by Prosus Ventures, Dragoneer and Wellington Management, with participation from Vy Capital, Tiger Global and Steadview. With this latest investment, Urban Company is now valued at $2.1 billion.
The funds raised will be deployed towards innovation, training, product development, enhanced quality control and safety measures for both partners and consumers. The company also aims to increase its geographic footprint by entering the top 100 cities in India and further expanding into international markets.
There is growing global demand for convenient digital access to help with everyday home tasks, and Urban Company is disrupting the fragmented home services industry with its vertical-tailored technology platform. The company is well on its way to empower millions of service professionals by delivering services at home in a way that has never been experienced before.