E-learning marketplace ThinkVidya.com has rebranded to UrbanPro.com, and pivoted to become a services marketplace. Currently, UrbanPro offers the services of tutors and training institutes for students across middle school, high school, graduation and post graduation, as well as tutors for competitive exam preparations and IT classes. It also connects users to those offering hobby classes for dance, music, cooking and arts among others and language classes.
The website claims that it’ll soon be introducing services across categories like health & fitness, events, interior designers and photographers. UrbanPro is operational across most major cities in India, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata among others.
The company claims it has over 3 lakh professionals listed on the site. However, it needs to be pointed out that over 1.8 lakh of them are tutors, who were already a part of ThinkVidya. Additionally, there are about 40,000 language teachers, 12,000 music and dance teachers and more than 40,000 training institutes registered with UrbanPro, who were also part of the platform in its earlier avatar.
Interestingly, unlike some of the other players in the services marketplace segment, UrbanPro is targeting a pan-India presence. Companies like Near.in and LocalOye also offer a variety of service professionals on their platforms, but are currently focusing on one or two cities only: Near.in in Gurgaon & Delhi and LocalOye in Mumbai. While there are others that are focused on specific verticals, like ThinkVidya before the rebranding: home services (Timesaverz and Zimmber), relocation services (EZMove and RelocateXP), and event management solutions (Explara) among others.
Services marketplaces look like the next big thing. However, based on how the market has responded it would seem that focusing on specific verticals or geographies is the right way to proceed. This is so, because essentially services are hyperlocal in nature and it takes a lot of time and resources to understand the requirements of customers and the quality of service providers in an area. UrbanPro’s move could prove to be a bad gamble, but it could also mean that it now has the first movers advantage.