Urban Company: 12th Indian Unicorn of 2021

Urban Company: What Is The Secret To Its Success?

3 Min Read |  May 03, 2021

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Recently, MoneyControl reported the news of Urban Company becoming the 12th firm to enter the unicorn club in 2021. 

The home services company joined the unicorn list after raising funding worth $188 million. This means the Urban Company valuation now stands at $2 billion. The latest funding round was led by Prosus Ventures and it saw the participation of investors such as DF International, Wellington Management, Tiger Global Management, etc. 

Given the pandemic time, I am sure many of you would have availed the services of Urban Company and are its customer. You want a haircut but are But, apart from using its services how well do you know about its start? 

Do you know anything about its financials? 

Or, who started Urban Company? 

To know more about the Urban Company, keep reading! 

How did Urban Company Start? 

The Urban Company was founded in the year 2014 by Abhiraj Bahl, Khaitan Varun and Chandra Raghav and is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana.

Hang on! The story is not this simple, to sum up in just two lines. There obviously is a backstory that led to the inception of the company. 

Brief Story 

In recent times, the inclination towards entrepreneurship has gained momentum among Indian graduates. Similarly, college friends from IIT Kanpur, Abhiraj Bahl and Varun Khaitan dreamed of starting their company one day! 

After completing their degree at IIT, both started working with Boston Consulting Group (where Abhiraj was in Singapore and Varun in the U.S). But, the dream of having their own business stayed with both of them. Unfortunately, they had no clue about what their startup would do. Finally, they took a leap of faith and in 2013 returned to India after leaving their job with Boston Consulting Group. 

Around the same time, Chandra Raghav completed his engineering at the University of Calfornia and went on to work with several giants such as Infosys, Yelp, and Twitter. Just like Abhiraj and Varun, he wanted to have a business of his own. With that dream, he decided to return to India in 2013. 

Initial Stints in the Start-up Industry 

After returning to their homeland, Abhiraj and Varun went on to start CinemaBox which was a movie streaming platform to aid the tastes of the Indian audience for Bollywood. On the other hand, Chandra had also started his own startup called Baggi.com which was an auto aggregator platform. 

During the same time, Chandra was introduced to Abhiraj and Varun through a common friend. Unfortunately, both the startups, CinemaBox and Baggi.com could not survive the test of time and the competitive market of Indian startups. But, they did not give up and flocked together instead. The trio started to conduct brainstorming meetings about starting a company together. 

It was after those brainstorming sessions at Abhiraj’s house that three of them decided to go ahead with home services (with UrbanClap) and right there began all the hard work of contacting beauticians, photographers, plumbers, etc. 

The firm was bootstrapped in the initial stage until they received their first funding worth$1.6 million from Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. 

Renaming: From UrbanClap to Urban Company 

Finally, in 2020, the UrbanClap founders decided to rename it to Urban Company and the prime motive behind this step was to develop sub-brands under the bigger umbrella. 

In fact, the year 2020 turned amicable for Urban Company as it did receive an overwhelming response from the customers because everyone wanted safe services without having to step outside their houses. Urban Company made sure that it gives what customers demanded and what was necessary given the time of the pandemic.

The properly hygienic and well-sanitized services provided by the company is what kept it going and even helped it to pump up its revenue in the last fiscal. 

Urban Company Funding

Receiving funding from global investors is the backbone for any startup and akin is the case of Urban Company. Some of the notable fundings received by it include: 


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Financials: Urban Company Revenue Growth 

The major highlights from its financials of the year 2020 are as follows.

  • Due to the lockdown, the company reported a total loss of Rs 137.87 crores which was around 87% higher than the loss incurred in the year 2019. 
  • The expenditure surged by 92% to Rs 394.29 crores.
  • The revenue of the company increased by a whopping 94% to Rs 256.42 crores out of which it made Rs 212.21 crores from its operations and around Rs 44.2 crores from other sources. 
  • It made its major spending on employee benefits and it took up 33.5% of the total expenditure. 

Further, the founders strongly believe that the year 2021 would be fruitful for them in terms of revenue. It kicked off well with generous funding that helped it to enter the unicorn club of India. The growth would be interesting to watch from here.


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