India’s Urban Company gets unicorn tag after raising $190m: Report

Visual from UrbanClap website

India’s home services startup Urban Company has become a unicorn after raising $190 million in a Series F funding round led by venture capital firm Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), according to an Entrackr report.

Prosus Ventures, a unit of Amsterdam-listed internet company Prosus, chipped in $61.93 million of the total $188 million raised in the new round that earned Urban Company an entry into the unicorn league.

DF International and Wellington Management invested $26.86 million and $33.2 million, respectively, according to regulatory filings seen by Entrackr.

According to the report, the Series F funding round gives Urban Company, formerly UrbanClap, a post-money valuation of close to $2 billion, more than double its valuation of around $933 million when it raised Series E in 2019.

Launched in 2014, the startup is currently present in 20 cities in India, and had expanded previously into four international markets including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, and Singapore.

The platform helps customers book home services like beauty services, massage therapy, cleaning, plumbing, carpentry, appliance repair, painting, and more. It partners with thousands of service professionals, helping them with training, credit, product procurement, insurance, technology, among others.

Prior to the lockdown, the Gurugram-headquartered company, which is backed by investors such as Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital, and Vy Capital, had around 25,000 trained professionals across various verticals.

“Once on the platform, our match-making algorithm identifies professionals who are closest to the users’ requirements and available at the requested time and date,” the company said on its website.

The lead investor in the Series F round, Prosus Ventures, is a unit of Amsterdam-listed internet company Prosus, which in turn is controlled by Naspers, the influential South African company that owns media empire Media24.

The venture capital arm typically invests in businesses at Series A, B, and C levels. The global investor has portfolio companies across six continents in sectors such as e-commerce, health, logistics, fintech, blockchain, and more.

Urban Company now joins as many as eight Indian startups that have become unicorns this year. This month alone, India has minted six unicorns, startups valued at more than $1 billion.

For the entire 2021, India is forecast to produce at least 12 unicorns, which will bring the total count to 50, according to a joint report by Nasscom and global management and strategy consultancy Zinnov.

Last week, Chennai- and San Francisco-headquartered subscription, billing, and revenue management platform Chargebee entered the unicorn club after raising $125 million in Series G funding, co-led by new investor Sapphire Ventures and existing investors Tiger Global and Insight Venture Partners.

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.