Abhiraj Bhal thinks that the term ‘hyperlocal’ is overused. In fact, according to him, the term might even be abused. Abhiraj Bhal would know what he is talking about, since he is the co-founder of hyperlocal startup UrbanClap, which he launched along with Raghav Chandra, Varun Khaitan on November 10, 2014.
An IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad graduate, Abhiraj Bhal, left his illustrious career as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group to embark on the exhilarating journey of entrepreneurship. For the uninitiated, UrbanClap is a mobile marketplace for on-demand local and home-based services in up to 97 different categories including beauty services, photographers, electricians, home cleaning & repairs, yoga & guitar instructors, etc.
Operating in eight cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune – the startup boasts of investors such as Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and Ratan Tata. Till date, it has raised $60.7 Mn funding in six rounds led by major VC firms like SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. Over the last two and a half years, UrbanClap has amassed a rather impressive user base of more than 1.5 Mn customers and 65,000 verified service professionals. In January 2017, Bhal authored a detailed article for Inc42, where he wrote:
“If 2015 was the year of product market fit and liquidity, and 2016 was the year of monetisation and customer experience, 2017 for us will be the year for user and supplier growth. While supply growth is often a function of time and hard + smart work, user growth is a harder problem to crack.”
With his eyes set on bolstering growth and expansion, Bhal currently handles operations and service provider on-boarding at UrbanClap. The marathon running and sky-diving enthusiast admittedly falls back on his past experience as an advisor to Fortune 500 companies in Germany, India and Southeast Asia to do it all. We at Inc42 recently conducted an AMA discussion with the man himself.
Here are the most interesting insights Bhal offered during the session: