Mumbai-based Imma Web Pvt Ltd, the company behind mobile-only marketplace for local household and personal service providers LocalOye.com, has raised $5 million (Rs 31 crore) in Series A round of funding from Tiger Global Management and Lightspeed Venture Partners, according to a press release.
The firm will use the funds to scale up nationwide and expand to more service categories. LocalOye would also be investing in technology and building the team.
LocalOye's platform uses a recommendation engine to connect customers with service professionals within a few minutes. Both customers and merchants (service providers) are connected to each other through their own apps. The app can also be used to review, accept, engage and schedule bookings. The startup claims its product reduces the multiple calls that a consumer gets while looking for such a service through existing classifieds players.
Currently operational in Mumbai, it is offering services in more than 250 categories; including education (tutors), home services (appliance repairs), wellness (yoga, fitness) and events (photographers).
The startup was founded in 2013 by BITS Pilani engineering graduate Aditya Rao. Prior to this, he worked with a number of firms like Concept Digital, Jombay and also co-founded Superchooha, a social technologies firm focused on building asocial CRM tool, in 2009.
"We do not want to build another classifieds company. The LocalOye platform is highly interactive and data driven; and this is what makes our engine smarter every day. And we have also seen a huge demand from service professionals for better tools to manage their business," Rao said.
Last year, LocalOye raised angel funding from Sidharth Rao (co-founder Webchutney), Haresh Chawla (former group CEO Network 18 and currently a partner with private equity firm India Value Fund Advisors) and Sachin Bhatia (co-founder, MakeMyTrip).
For Tiger Global and Lightspeed, this is the second back-to-back co-investment deal in India. Together they invested $30 million in LimeRoad.com along with Matrix Partners just two weeks ago.
"LocalOye brings a disruptive experience to the classifieds and yellow pages market that has not seen innovation in a decade. We saw clarity of vision and execution in the LocalOye team that we have not seen elsewhere," said Dev Khare, managing director of Lightspeed India.
For Tiger Global, one of the most active venture investors in Indian tech space, this adds up to dozen deals since January (including a few follow-on investment rounds in existing portfolio firms) in the country.
"LocalOye's vision to bridge the online-to-offline services market in India is highly compelling for both consumers and businesses," said Lee Fixel, partner, Tiger Global Management.
Local services marketplace has become a pretty active space with several startups attracting venture funding in the last three months alone.
Bangalore-based Qyk Inc., which runs a mobile marketplace for local services Qyk, raised angel funding from a group of investors, including Zishaan Hayath, co-founder, Toppr.com; Abhishek Goyal, co-founder, Tracxn.com; and Delhivery co-founder Sahil Barua.
Gurgaon-based Thumbspot Inc., the firm behind the online services marketplace Near.in, received Rs 1.8 crore (under $300,000) in seed funding, co-led by Anupam Mittal, CEO of People Group, and Manish Vij of Smile Vun Group. Other investors who participated in the round include Prashant Tandon and Gaurav Agarwal (both part of Healthkart.com), Akash Agarwal of SAP Labs, Himanshu Aggarwal of education firm Aspiring Minds, besides Kevin Parikh of consulting firm Avasant.
Another venture Delhi NCR-based FindYahan India Private Limited raised angel funding round led by Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India. Others who participated in the round included Parvesh Bareja (director, HeliosPacks), Sunjay Kapur (Sona Koyo Steering), and Amanpreet Bajaj (co-founder, LetsBuy.com).
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)