Over 200 partners of Urban Company staged a protest outside its Gurugram office to protest against the startup’s move to permanently block their IDs
At the heart of the issue is Urban Company’s decision to increase the customer rating required by the partners to continue to work with the platform
In an internal video message addressed to salon category partners, cofounder Bahl said the startup intends to make the criteria for partners to be eligible to operate on the platform more stringent
Gig worker troubles at Urban Company refuse to end, as the startup was hit by another protest by its service partners on Wednesday (July 12).
Over 200 partners of Urban Company staged a protest outside the startup’s Gurugram office against it permanently blocking their IDs in the last couple of months, two gig workers part of the protests told Inc42.
Inc42 has also reviewed photographs and videos of the protest.
Gig workers unions such as the Centre Of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All Indian Gig Workers Union (AIGWU) also lent their support to the protestors for their demand to unblock their IDs.
While there has been dissatisfaction among partners of Urban Company over it permanently blocking IDs for the last year or so, Inc42 has learnt that the issue has aggravated in recent months.
At the heart of the issue is Urban Company’s decision to increase the customer rating required by the partners to continue to work with the platform. Earlier, the partners had to maintain a customer rating of 4.5 to operate on the platform. However, the startup increased this rating to 4.7 and the partners are unhappy with this.
In an internal video message addressed to salon category partners, Urban Company cofounder Abhiraj Singh Bahl said the startup intends to make the criteria for partners to be eligible to operate on the platform more stringent in the coming months to improve the quality of services. Besides customer rating, partners would also have to maintain the specified acceptance rate, product usage score, among others, to operate on the platform.
Meanwhile, Urban Company, in response to Inc42’s queries on the matter, sent the same statement which it issued after a protest by the partners over the same issue last month. The startup said it encourages dialogue with partners and is committed to building a high-quality home services platform.
The startup also unblocked several partner IDs over the past few weeks, Inc42 has learnt.
The issue is not limited to Delhi NCR. Last month, Inc42 reported that Urban Company Partners in Bengaluru and Kolkata were also facing the same issue.
Last month, AIGWU secretary Saubhik Bhattacharya alleged that Urban Company is exploiting gig workers and urged the startup to listen to the demands of the workers.
Founded in 2014 by Abhiraj Bahl, Raghav Chandra, and Varun Khaitan, Urban Company offers salon, cleaning, appliance repair services, among others. In July last year, it raised $225 Mn in its Series F round, led by Prosus Ventures, Dragoneer, and Wellington Management, at a valuation of $2.1 Bn. In total, it has raised $445 Mn till date.
The startup’s net loss doubled year-on-year to INR 514 Cr in FY22, while operating revenue rose 75% to INR 509 Cr.