A who’s-who of big time American investors are bringing the marketplace investment thesis behind HomeJoy and Handy to India — backing the new startup Zimmber.
Ram Shriram, the founder of Sherpalo Ventures and an investor in Google, IDG Ventures, the Omidyar Network, and the India-based chairman of Manipal Global Education, V. Mohandas Pai, have committed just under $2 million into the company.
Earlier in July, Zimmber raised $400,000 from a group of local investors including Naveen Tiwari, Mohit Saxena, and Amit Gupta, the co-founders of InMobi.
A slew of foreign and domestic investors had invested in a small pre-seed round to get the company off the ground.
Founded in October 2014, Anubhab Goel, the company’s chief executive officer, along with chief operating officer Amit Kumar and chief technology officer Gaurav Shrivastava got together to launch their Handy-like service in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Pune.
The company said it will use the money to expand to other geographies across India. Already, Zimmber has managed to attract over 400 service providers offering spa, home appliance repairs, plumbing, electrical, pest control, painting, and carpentry services.
Zimmber’s entering a market that’s fairly crowded with at least 69 startups operating in the home services market, according to a press release.
The company estimates that the home care market and on-demand services could be worth as much as $4 billion.
“The problem that we are trying to solve, is basically organizing the extremely fragmented local services marketplace. Trusting a servicemen with local services is a very big problem that the consumer faces today,” says Goel.
The company uses third party services to vet their vendors for security and applies quality controls to make sure that the service providers are competent.
Investors, who have seen the model fail in the U.S. with the closure of Homejoy, see a better opportunity in India’s fragmented market.
“Local services is an unorganized market in India,” says Ranjith Menon, Executive Director at IDG Ventures India. “The mobile first approach combined with the operational experience of the founding team is what got us excited about the opportunity.”