Amazon leads 150 crore fund infusion in local services startup Housejoy
On-demand local and home services startup Housejoy has raised Rs 150 crore in its second round of funding from a consortium of investors led by e-commerce major Amazon, a company executive told TOI. Other new investors which have come on board include Temasek’s venture arm Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm and Ru-Net Technology Partners even as Housejoy’ s existing backer Matrix Partners participated in the latest fund-raise.
Housejoy, which helps consumers book plumbers, electricians and beauticians online, has emerged as a formidable competitor to Urban Clap, the most well-capitalized player in an overcrowded local services marketplace. Amazon, which recently forayed in to the home services space in the US, has been picking up stakes in Indian startups, such as Bank Bazaar and gift card technology and retail firm Qwik Cilver as it diversifies its offerings beyond product commerce.
The fresh funds will be used to expand into more cities from the current 11 and increase the depth of the categories Housejoy presently operates. The company aims to have 50,000 service providers on its platform. While talking to TOI, Saran Chatterjee, CEO of Housejoy, said, “Amazon’s investment is a big deal coming at this time. We are keen to pick up their best practices and enhance our own scale.” Amazon will most likely look to offer services through Housejoy. Chatterjee, who was earlier VP of products at Flipkart, did not give any details on the partnership.
Started by online bookstore Book Adda’s founder Arjun Kumar and Sunil Goel a year ago, Housejoy was incubated at serial entrepreneur K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh ‘s Growth Story. It has so far raised $4 million in funds
“Housejoy seeks to provide customers with a differentiated experience in shopping for home services. This aligns with our mission in India to transform the way India buys and sells,” said Amit Agarwal, VP & and country manager, Amazon India, in a prepared statement. In the US, the e-commerce behemoth started Amazon Home Services, which connects users with service professionals in their area. Amazon integrated with Task Rabbit, an online marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks, to others in their neighbourhood in the US. Search giant Google, too, has dipped its toes into the fragmented home services market launching in the Bay Area.
Investors had rushed to fund a clutch of early-stage online marketplaces in the local and home services space earlier this year but only Urban Clap and Housejoy have been able to raise bigger follow-on rounds, indicating a winding down of excitement around this space. “The home services economy is set to inflect this year. Housejoy has established itself as an early leader in a hyper-competitive landscape by owning the end-to-end customer experience. We welcome Amazon, Vertex, Qualcomm and ruNet to the Housejoy partnership,” said Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD Matrix India.
Housejoy currently clocks an average of 4,000 orders per day with bookings in the range of Rs 1,000-1,200. Beauty services is one of the fastest growing verticals for Housejoy, which offers 13 categories currently.