On-demand home services provider Urban Company on Wednesday said it has raised USD 255 million (about Rs 1,857 crore) in funding led by Prosus Ventures, Dragoneer and Wellington Management, ahead of its plans to launch an IPO in the next two years. The series F round – which also saw participation from Vy Capital, Tiger Global and Steadview – takes Urban Company’s valuation to USD 2.1 billion. The latest round includes a primary capital infusion of USD 188 million and a secondary sale of approximately USD 67 million by select angels and early investors, Urban Company CEO and co-founder Abhiraj Singh Bhal told PTI.
He added that Urban Company has raised about USD 330 million in primary capital till date. Bhal said the funds will be used towards innovation, training, product development, enhanced quality control and safety measures for both partners and consumers. Asked about the company’s IPO plans, Bhal said the company is on the path. “…In the next 18 to 24 months, we are working towards that…we have applied towards each of those points, including being ready from an internal capability and compliance standpoint, having the right set of internal checks in place in terms of IPO readiness,” he said.
He added that the company has a very clear path to breaking even in the short term. “So, work has started on each of these elements. I think we need another 18 to 24 months…,” Bhal noted. The company also aims to increase its geographic footprint by entering the top 100 cities in India by 2022 and further expanding into international markets. “With this funding, we plan to rapidly scale our business while continuing to invest further in the safety of our consumers and service partners, training of partners and product development… We will continue to penetrate existing markets while venturing into new overseas geographies, Bhal said.
Currently, Urban Company has more than 35,000 service partners across 35 cities in India, the UAE, Singapore, Australia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The marketplace offers a variety of home services to consumers across categories like beauty and personal care, cleaning services, plumbing, carpentry and appliance repairs. Bhal said the company has also been focussed on upskilling and training its service partners. The number of partners is set to grow in line with its expansion into more cities. Talking about the impact of pandemic on business, Bhal said while there was significant impact initially but the situation has changed now. “After the lockdown was lifted last year, we saw momentum returning and double to pre-COVID levels.
We expect strong growth momentum to continue as more people use our services while staying safe within their homes,” he added. Bhal noted that the company has undertaken a number of steps to ensure the safety of its partners, including taking care of their vaccination and providing safety gear. He added that over 50 per cent of its partners have already been vaccinated, and by June-end, this number is expected to go up to 75-80 per cent. Consumers can see the overall vaccination rate along with the vaccination status of the partner assigned when they book a service.