Goodservice wants to give users in India a personal assistant in their smartphone. The Delhi-based app just scored seed funding of $1.6 million from Sequoia Capital, which it will use to increase the size of its engineering and operations teams.
Like retail, local services in India is still very fragmented, which make platforms like Goodservice appealing for people who want to find a provider fast instead of relying on word-of-mouth referrals or searching around online. Its competitors include UrbanClap, which has received funding from Accel Partners, and LocalOye.
While those startups focus on certain verticals, Goodservice, which launched two weeks ago, differentiates by saying it will never turn down “any legal request.” Most users, however, need run-of-the-mill services like plumbers, classes, catering, or vehicle repairs. Users chat with Goodservice employees through its Android app (an iOS version is coming soon), website, WhatsApp, or voice calls, who direct them toward the vendors and businesses that fit their requirements.
Co-founder Vipul Aggarwal says that in order to convince people to log onto Goodservice, it needs to deliver lists of vendors and price quotes almost instantly. In order to do that, Goodservice depends on a proprietary database, in which it tracks service providers, how quickly they respond to calls, and the feedback they receive from Goodservice users.
The company currently draws its recommendations from a list of 18,000 providers across 300 categories in six cities, including Delhi and Gurgaon and plans to expand into other regions over the next few weeks.
“We own the problem—when you message us that your tap is broken, our team not only books the most reasonable plumber, but the backend make sures he reaches you on time, does the job satisfactorily, and, if needed in an unlikely event, keeps a backup ready,” says Aggarwal.