BENGALURU: Online services marketplace UrbanClap will focus on two categories — beauty and home — and shut down other non-core businesses, including wedding services and photography, co-founder Abhiraj Bhal told ET in an interview.

In the categories it plans to scale up, UrbanClap will continue with a full-stack approach, which means it will manage and monitor the quality of the supply closely on its platform.

“Internet marketplaces will not get built on a light-touch model. There may be a few exceptions, but broadly a transaction platform can only survive and thrive if supply side is extremely dependent on the marketplace for livelihood and sees immense value,” Bhal said.

The marketplace should also be able to provide suppliers facilities like credit, training, procurement, technology and insurance, he added.

In its core category — beauty at home for women — which contributes 40% to revenue, UrbanClap is also introducing a luxury salon at home service to compete with the high end of the market with an average order value of Rs 2,000.

Investors say services in India have largely been fragmented, and that building a services business in India will require up-skilling and training to be successful.

At least 100 startups had emerged in the hyperlocal services space in 2014-15, including HouseJoy, HandyHomes among others. Most of them continue to remain a one-city, and one-category phenomenon.

“We provide training for almost all categories. In the next 4-5 years, we will be running the largest skilling infrastructure and programmes in the country,” Bhal said.

Beyond its in-house programmes, the company has also partnered with government entities such as the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and signed a MoU with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

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An UrbanClap service professional, on average, earns more than double what he/she made in previous jobs, Bhal claimed, without providing specific details in support.

The Gurugram-based company has 20,000 partners, and fulfills 25,000 – 30,000 orders a day, it said.

In August, UrbanClap raised $75 million in a Series E round led by US-based investment fund Tiger Global Management, valuing the company at nearly $1billion.

The same round saw two of UrbanClap’s early investors, SAIF and Accel Partners, clock a $60 million partial exit, sources said.

UrbanClap has grown 150% in the last year, and is targeting commission revenues upwards of Rs 250 crore in the current financial year, Bhal told ET.

The company will expand its presence to the top 30 Indian cities in the next couple of years, and three international markets – UAE, Australia and Singapore.

“Our view is with these three international markets, the market size is equivalent to entire India,” Bhal said.





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