Ratan Tata invests in local services marketplace UrbanClap

10 Dec, 2015

Tata Sons' chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has made an undisclosed personal investment in Delhi-based UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt Ltd, which owns a mobile-only marketplace for local service professionals.

The company will use the money to strengthen its business and expand operations across India.

Ratan Tata, after retiring from Tata Sons, has been one of India's most active startup investors. He is building a portfolio of new-age businesses across sectors ranging from consumer internet – particularly e-commerce – to social impact, e-health and clean-tech sectors.

Tata made his first angel investment two years ago, in Swasth India. Since then he has invested in many marquee startups, including Ola, Snapdeal, Xiaomi, Paytm and Urban Ladder.

Tata recently joined the boards of venture capital firms Kalaari, IDG Ventures India and Jungle Ventures. He also invested in deal making platform LetsVenture.

Most recently, Tata put money in Jungle Ventures-backed Crayon Data, a Chennai- and Singapore-based big data analytics startup.

Tata also invested an undisclosed amount in Sabse Technologies Inc, a US-based firm started by co-founder Sabeer Bhatia.

UrbanClap offers services for 75 categories across Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. The company plans to extend its offerings to 25 cities over the next one year. In November, it raised $25 million (Rs 165 crore) in Series B funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Tata's investment is not a part of the Series B round, a spokesperson of UrbanClap said.

Platforms that connect users with local services have attracted considerable investor attention this year.

Joe Hukum, an app-based provider of concierge services, said on Wednesday that it has raised an undisclosed sum in seed funding from TracxnLabs, Citrus Payments' Jitendra Gupta and's Prashant Tandon.

Lookup, GoodBox and Goodservice had raised funds early this year. Lookup raised $2.5 million in Series A funding led by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla's personal fund, Khosla Impact with participation from Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder). GoodBox secured $2.5 million (Rs 16.5 crore) in Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners. Goodservice received $1.6 million (Rs 10 crore) in seed funding from Sequoia Capital in June.

Haptik, Yellow Messenger, OK Sir and Helpchat are the other major players in this space.