UrbanClap – Two Down, Many To Go

3 min read

900+ days of hustle and counting!

It was early June of 2014. Varun and I had just shut down our first start-up, a video-on-demand content distribution platform way ahead of its time. We met Raghav at a run-down coffee shop in Greater Kailash, New Delhi. Incidentally, Raghav had also recently shut down his first start-up, a ride-sharing company for auto-rickshaws. He was the single man army in his startup, and would code in the mornings, onboard auto-rickshaws during the day, and do online marketing at night.

The three of us had a few things in common. We had recently moved back to India from overseas, and quit supposedly fancy jobs (Raghav was at Twitter, while Varun and I were at BCG). Our first startups had shut down, and in the process, our egos were battered. We had a very real sense of what it takes to build something.

As we discussed ideas, and what to do next, all three of us sought to find solution to a single problem. The entire space of local and home services was a huge unsolved problem. Why was it so hard to find a trusted plumber, beautician or yoga trainer? The industry was living in what I call the Yellow Pages era. We saw things differently. We knew someone was going to build the Amazon for service commerce. And it had to be us.

Raghav and Lakshya (Our first employee) enjoy a plum cake in the Delhi winter
Raghav and Lakshya (Our first employee) enjoy a plum cake in the Delhi winter

Over the next couple of months, as we spoke to service professionals and customers alike, our belief in the market opportunity grew stronger. We launched a Facebook Page called “Find Trusted Service Professionals”. In a couple of weeks, it got 500+ organic signups and multiple queries per day. We knew we were onto something. Raghav started to code the first version of the website, while Varun and I set foot to on-board our first set of service professionals.

On 10th of Nov, 2014, we launched our website! That day, largely through rigorous on the ground hustle, we managed to get six service requests. Below are some snapshots from our first office (A large sprawling 100 sq ft room!), our earliest product user interface, and some early white-boarding!

Our first office (It ended before it started!)
Our first office (It ended before it started!)
First set of product designs by Raghav
First set of product designs by Raghav
Some Early White Boarding!
Some Early White Boarding!

Over the last two years, we have grown our marketplace to 50,000+ service professionals, 8 cities, served over 1 Million customers, and today have a very proud team of 300+ employees. We are lucky to have some of the best investors in the Industry – Saif Partners, Accel Partners, Bessemmer Venture Partners, Mr. Ratan N Tata, Mr. Kunal Bahl and Mr. Rohit Bansal.

You can also read: Mr. Ratan Tata’s Trust In Us – A Privilege

We thank all of them for being a part of UrbanClap’s journey. In our journey, we have come across endearing stories from our partners which makes us work even harder. Below is a film which captures the stories of some of our service professionals:

Today is Day 1 for us. Over the next few years, we are eager to build a marketplace which customers and professionals trust, and rely upon. A marketplace which re-defines the service commerce industry. Mountains need to be moved, and we just got started. Whether you are a customer, a service professional or a team member, join us in this journey!

 

4 Comments
  1. Great going Abhiraj…keep it up…ur father have been ideal and mentor for many…I know Ashok Bhal sir personally. And I’m confident that you will touch the dky one day…

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