Leading services marketplace UrbanClap, where Ratan Tata made his latest investment, wants to be counted among the top five internet businesses in India within a year. Co-founder and chief executive Abhiraj Bhal told Business Standard, “We are looking to become the Amazon for services’’. The company has overseas ambitions too at some point.
The chairman emeritus of the Tata Group has made investments in his personal capacity in more than 15 start-ups over the last 20 months.
Although, the size of his investments has never been disclosed, recent filings with the Registrar of Companies showed Tata had put in around Rs 20 crore in multiple start-ups including Ola, Paytm, Snapdeal, UrbanLadder, Bluestone, Zivame, Car Dekho, Xiaomi and Your Story, among others. On Thursday, UrbanClap, which provides anything from plumber and electrician to wedding planner and maths tutor through an app-based platform, announced investments made by Tata.
Backed by venture capitalists such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners as well as angel investors including Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal and now Ratan Tata, UrbanClap is planning to expand to around 30 cities by the end of 2016, from six now.
It’s also planning to raise the number of service professionals, working for the company to 200,000 from 25,000. It is targeting a 20-fold growth in the number of customers—from 5,000 a day now — to 100,000 a day by end of next year, according to Bhal.
Gurgaon-based UrbanClap has raised Rs 250 crore so far since it started operation in November 2014. While the company is in the growth phase now, it is aiming for an early profitability.
Bhal said he and the other co-founders—Raghav Chandra and Varun Khaitan—did not have any model to fall back on while starting UrbanClap.
‘’We were frustrated by the rehashed yellow pages of the 90s and decided to start an online services marketplace,’’ the CEO said.