International Demand

Urban Company Passes $ 2.1 Billion Valuation, Plans International Expansion

Urban Company, the online home services startup, has raised $ 255 million in a Series F funding round led by Prosus Ventures, Dragoneer and Wellington Management.

Urban Company, which is the largest of its kind in India and the United Arab Emirates, is now valued at $ 2.1 billion. The investment cycle included an injection of primary capital of $ 188 million and a secondary sale of approximately $ 67 million by selected angel investors and early investors. Vy Capital, Tiger Global and Steadview also participated in the roundtable.

Urban Company, which plans to expand into 100 Indian cities and international markets, said it would use the funds for innovation, training, product development, quality control and safety measures.

“With this funding, we plan to grow our business rapidly while continuing to invest more in the safety of our consumers and service partners, partner training and product development,” said Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Managing Director and Co -founder, adding that business is growing as people stay at home due to Covid-19.

The financing and valuation of the company was published in April based on regulatory documents.

Urban Company has more than 35,000 service partners in 35 cities in India, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Australia and Saudi Arabia. The market offers a variety of in-home services to consumers, including beauty care, haircuts, deep cleaning, plumbing, carpentry and appliance repairs. The company will continue to enter existing markets while venturing into new geographies overseas this year.

“Our business has been extremely resilient,” said Varun Khaitan, co-founder of Urban Company, in an interview. “All categories authorized to operate under government regulations are doing well as in March. They are largely unaffected by the second wave (Covid-19). “

Khaitan estimated that now-closed services would soon be re-established, as lockdowns are more methodical this year to contain Covid-19 cases.

Urban Company has witnessed a huge demand for its home service business including repairs, cleaning and disinfection, Khaitan. “In some categories there are headwinds, like in men’s haircuts. There we will see even more growth compared to last year, where volumes were multiplied by 6 to 7

“Likewise, our home cleaning activity has doubled and that of home painting has multiplied by 3 to 4.”

He expected the closures to be lifted by the end of July and the company to see a recovery and growth during the holiday season.

“Existing service ecosystems are weaker and less mature in Tier 2 and smaller cities,” Khaitan said. “As a result, when we launch, we see very rapid adoption from customers. “

Khaitan said that Urban Company’s rapid takeover and scale despite the pandemic has restored confidence and strengthened in all minds, including investors, the power of the company’s business model and the platform. -technological form.

Ashutosh Sharma, India Investment Manager at Prosus Ventures, said Urban Company has changed a large, fragmented industry. As a technology platform, it has been able to accomplish the “very difficult task” of producing services.

“In addition, the initial pull with international expansion into geographies we know well is encouraging and presents a significant growth opportunity in the future,” said Sharma.

Eric Jones, partner at Dragoneer Investment Group, said the investment firm has been extremely impressed with Urban Company’s success in digitally unifying the fragmented residential services market, both in India and overseas. He said the company has an extensive network of highly trained home service professionals, as well as a bespoke technology platform. This has led to unprecedented customer satisfaction and advocacy in this industry.

“No company is better positioned to meet the growing global demand for convenient digital access to facilitate daily household tasks,” Jones said.

Urban Company was founded in November 2014 by Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra. It counts Accel Partners, industrialist Ratan Tata and Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy among its investors.

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