Exclusive: Indian startup UrbanClap shuts down laundry services

UrbanClap Technologies Pvt Ltd, one of the top two home services provider, has shut down its laundry services barely six months after launch, two sources close to the matter told DEALSTREETASIA.

Urbanclap, a mobile-only platform, provides services across 75 categories in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune.

Till date, the Delhi-based company has raised almost $37 million in venture capital raising from Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. It also received an undisclosed amount from Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata who backed the company last December in his personal capacity.

Earlier, the company offered a monthly-subscription for its laundry services but subsequently switched to day-to-day model around October 2015.

An UrbanClap’s spokesperson confirmed that the company had discontinued its laundry service but declined to offer further details. It is still providing dry cleaning services, according to its website.

The laundry service space has witnessed several vertical-focussed players joining fray in the fast-growing market. Urban Clap, on the other hand, is a horizontal player that straddles a wide range of on-demand home services. “As I understand, vertical players are better equipped to handle customer expectations as they are solely focused on one service compared to horizontal players,” said one of the source quoted above, who requested anonymity.

Also Read: India: On-demand home services co Housejoy strikes second deal in Feb, buys startup Orobind Fitness

Exclusive: India’s PickMyLaundry in ‘final talks’ to raise $1m from angel investors

Exclusive: On-demand Indian laundry startup Urban Dhobi raises seed funding

PickMyLaundry, a laundry-focussed startup that is also looking at raising an angel round, was one of the vendors for UrbanClap.

The market has also seen a few housing services players pivot to stick to the laundry niche.

For instance, Doormint, which launched in January 2015 offering on-demand electrician, plumber, carpenter, electronics appliance repair and pest control, now only provides laundry services. The startup is backed by Powai Lake Ventures, Helion Ventures and Kalaari Capital.

This space has also witnessed some consolidation play. Vertical service providers have, in some instances, also reported difficulty in getting funding compared to horizontal players. Mywash, which managed to get seed funding from Orios Venture, failed to attract VC investors.

In February this year, the startup was acquired by Amazon-backed Housejoy.

Hybrid laundry platform Wassup acquired Chamak for an undisclosed amount. Chamak is also backed by Kensington Capital, Index Advisory, Innosight Ventures, Calvert Investments and HNIs including Rajan Mariwala and Sandeep Tandon.

Around the same time, Zimmber bought hyperlocal marketplace Findyahan. Most recently, Housejoy acquired at-home personal fitness start-up Orobind Fitness Technologies.

The laundry services sub-segment, under the fast-growing on-demand home services space, has caught the eye of investors and has seen some deal activity too. Most recently, on-demand laundry startups PickMyLaundry and UrbanDhobi raised funding.

Also Read:

India: Home services startup Zimmber close to raising up to $7m from Snapdeal, others

India: Home services startup Taskbob raises $4m Series A funding led by IvyCap Ventures

Exclusive: India’s home cleaning startup TimeMyTask raises funding from Lead Angels

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.