Gurgaon-based Near.in has raised Rs 1.8 crore from a series of individual investors including Manish Vij of SVG Media and Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, reports the Economic Times. Other investors participating in this round includes Healthkart.com CEO Prashant Tandon and CTO Gaurav Agarwal, SAP Labs mobile division vice president Akash Agarwal, Aspiring Minds CEO Himanshu Aggarwal and Kevin Parikh of consulting firm Avasant.
Near.in was launched by Wirkle co-founder Sunil Goyal, Lomesh Dutta & Akshay Khanna last month and offers service providers across various categories like Home Needs (home services, architects & interior designers) Health & Wellness (dieticians, physiotherapists and zumba classes) and Events (photographers, makeup artists, tattoo artists, event planners).
The service is limited to Gurgaon at the moment, however Goyal had earlier told Medianama that they will include service providers from Delhi by early 2015 and then expand to other major cities across India. He had also said that these service providers are then thoroughly vetted by Near.in’s in-house team through calls, visits to their offices/stores, clicking pictures & capturing prices before they are listed on the site. They are also vetted through Aadhaar verification. More on that here.
JustDial’s Search Plus suite of services, which offers services like flower delivery, doctor appointment, laundry pickup, grocery shopping and pharmacy supplies among others, is Near.in’s primary competitor. Note that Search Plus allows users to complete transactions online while Near.in does not. However, JustDial primarily lists local businesses while Near.in lists freelancers and artists like dance instructors, disc jockeys, event planners, makeup artists and mehendi artists among others.
Zimmber, which recently raised funding, also provides an online home service booking platform, for things like electric glitches, installation of A/Cs and fixing a tap leak etc. Similarly there are several services marketplaces in India focused on particular verticals, like event management solutions marketplace Explara, relocation service providers marketplace RelocateXP & EZMove, and home services marketplace Timesaverz, among others. What however sets Near.in apart, is it aggregates service providers from across verticals, and plans to expand to other categories like hobby classes in the future.