UrbanPro launches Q&A feature for local services


Hyperlocal services startup UrbanPro has introduced a feature which allows users to ask education and skill-related questions to the 3.5 lakh-plus service professionals listed on the online marketplace.

"We realised that consumers needed to talk to expert professionals to ask questions they had, before they availed paid services. This allows consumers to get their questions answered while professionals get a medium to increase their credibility on the platform," said Rakesh Kalra, founder and CEO of UrbanPro, which is run by ThinkVidya Learning Pvt Ltd.

The feature will remain free for consumers and the company has no plans to monetise it, Kalra told Techcircle.in.

About 10,000 professionals have already answered questions across categories such as Reiki, hip hop dance, fitness and tuition among others since the beta version of 'Ask a Pro' was launched three months ago.

The feature is available on web, mobile web and Android.

In May, UrbanPro raised $2 million (Rs 12 crore) from Nirvana Ventures. Headquartered in Bangalore and currently operating in six cities, the company was founded in 2011 by Kalra as Think Vidya. In April, it rebranded to UrbanPro in order to expand into verticals such as events planning, health and fitness and photography.

The startup currently claims to serve 10 lakh registered customers across 1000 categories.

Startups operating local services on a marketplace model have been attracting a lot of investor attention. BookMeIn, an online marketplace for booking hyperlocal services, had raised $377,000 (Rs2.5 crore) in angel funding from Ajmera Group of Companies two months ago.

In June, Delhi-based UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, which runs a mobile-only marketplace to find local service professionals, raised $10 million (Rs64 crore) in Series A funding from SAIF Partners and Accel Partners.

Other companies which have raised funding include Flatpebble (Indian Angel Network), LocalOye (Tiger Global and Lightspeed), Qyk (Zishaan Hayath, co-founder, Toppr.com; Abhishek Goyal, co-founder, Tracxn.com and Sahil Barua, co-founder, Delhivery), Near.in (led by Anupam Mittal, CEO of People Group, and Manish Vij of Smile Vun Group) and FindYah (led by Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India), TaskBob (Orios Venture Partners & Mayfield India).