Consumer Internet continues to hog the limelight in India. After the massive success stories of online retailers such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, many entrepreneurs in the country plunged into this space, though with different business ideas and models. But it now seems that on-demand home services is the next big thing, after online retailing and taxi booking, that is going to explode in India — evident from the recent spike in VC investment activity in this space.
Just a few days after Zimmber scored US$2 million, another startup in the on-demand home services space, Doormint, has bagged US$3 million in funding. The round was co-led by Helion Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital — two prominent VC funds in India.
These deals have come just two-three months after Taskbob raised US$1.2 million. Interestingly, all three startups started with Mumbai as their primary market.
Almost 70 startups emerged in on-demand home services vertical in India last year alone, as per Zimmber. Close to 10 local services startups have raised funding since the start of this year — many of them also include those that offer home services.
What the funds mean for Doormint
The investment will provide Doormint the resources to expand its current service network in Mumbai, as well as establish its presence in Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore in the next three months. The startup is also looking to expand the team.
Doormint was founded in 2015 to provide doorstep home solutions at affordable prices. The startup aims to resolve household grievances of the always-mobile metropolitan populace through its mobile app and online platforms. The services offered are plumbing, appliance repairing, carpentry, pest control and laundry, among others.
“We aim to provide affordable, technology-driven home solutions to our consumers. This latest investment comes as a major shot in the arm, enabling us to expand and consolidate our service network in Mumbai, while also proliferating in other metro cities,” said Abhinav Agarwal, CEO Doormint.
“On-demand home services is a fast-growing market in urban areas where tech-savvy consumers seek time-saving resources to meet their household needs of maintenance and repair. Doormint’s key differentiation of a branded service that takes full responsibility for service delivery and customer satisfaction, along with convenient and superior product offerings such as one-touch home service to eliminate calling, upfront pricing and post-service warranty, are pegged to make it the market leader,” said Ritesh Banglani, Partner at Helion Ventures.
On-demand home service meets smart technology
According to a recent report by Zimmber, opportunity in India is estimated to be as high as US$4 billion, which is set to explode as ventures tap into Tier II and Tier III cities in India. According to a senior Omidyar Network representative, the home services industry in India is highly fragmented, unorganised and non-standardised.
“Greater adoption of GPS-enabled mobile phones and the rise of on-demand economy allows for smart technology solutions to transform the lives of home service providers, while injecting greater price transparency, safety and better quality of service standards for consumers,” the representative told e27.
According to a Vserv report, India currently has about 160 million smartphone users. It is growing at 26 per cent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) from 2013 to 2017. It is expected to reach 234 million by 2017 with the entry of cheaper brands such as Xiaomi. According to this report, smartphone users spend an average 169 minutes per day on their devices.
Consumer Internet companies also foresee a massive opportunity here as Internet data services are available at cheaper rates compared to global average.