housejoy

Home services marketplace Housejoy has raised Rs 150 crore (~$22.4 million) in a series B round of funding led by Amazon, with participation from new Vertex Ventures, Ru-Net Technology Partners and Qualcomm. Existing investor Matrix Partners also participated in the round. Note that, in June, the company raised $4 million in a Series A round of funding from Matrix Partners.

The startup will use the funds to improve its technology and categories, for strategic acquisitions, partnerships and hiring. It will also look to expand to another 10 cities and have 50,000 service providers on the platform. As of now the company claims to have over 10,000 service providers across 11 cities.

Housejoy currently lists services like plumbing, electrical, home cleaning, beauty, computer repair, fitness, drivers, pest control, laundry, carpentry, appliances and painting. Users can pick and book the service online, while the payments are made directly to the worker after the work is done. The company provides a 7-day work re-do guarantee in case of problems, and also offers insurance of up to Rs 10,000 for damage caused by provider error. The services are available over the web and it’s Android app.

BetterPlace tie up: Earlier this month, Housejoy tied up with background verification firm BetterPlace for address verification, identification and criminal/court checks of HouseJoy’s service providers. The companies had implemented this partnership in Bangalore initially, and eventually expanded to the other 10 cities.

CEO appointment: In September, Housejoy appointed Saran Chatterjee as its CEO. Chatterjee, who resigned after being Flipkart’s VP of products for 3 years in June, would help Housejoy’s services and cities expansion, with a focus on consumer experience.

Amazon’s home services marketplace: Interestingly, in March, Amazon launched a new online marketplace for users to book plumbers, electricians and other household professionals in the US. The service dubbed ‘Amazon home service’ would offer 700 services from licensed professionals at launch and is focused around big cities like San Francisco, New York and Seattle.

Other developments in the services vertical:

– Earlier this month, Paytm acquired the Gurgaon-based services marketplace Near.in for $2 million.

– Last month, Wassup, an on-demand laundry services app, had acquired the Mumbai-based laundry provider Chamak for an undisclosed amount.

– The same month, Taskbob, a Mumbai-based on-demand home and services startup, acquired Bangalore based Zepper, which offers similar services.

– In October, online classifieds site Quikr has launched QuikrServices, a vertical which would focus on the unorganised sector of service providers in the country, while Bangalore-based Lookup raised $2.5 million in funding.

– In September, online directory services platform JustDial launched the new version of its Search Plus app.

– In August, Services marketplace LocalOye launched 12 India-wide services under its ‘Pan India Online Service Category’. The company, which went mobile only in April, seemed to have changed its mind and was available on desktop again.

– In the same month, BookMeIn, an online marketplace which lets users book hyperlocal services, raised angel funding worth $377,000.

– In July, Zimmber, a hyperlocal home solutions company, raised pre Series A funding worth $2 million.

– In June, Mobile services marketplace UrbanClap raised $10 million in a round of funding, while in August, Timesaverz, a marketplace for on demand home services, raised Series A funding worth $2.2 million.