Near.in, a marketplace app for local service providers has raised Rs 1.8 Cr in a seed round led by investors including Manish Vij and Anupam Mittal. Other notable investors include, Akash Agarwal, GVP - SAP Mobile, Prashant Tandon, CEO - Healthkart, Gaurav Agarwal, CTO - Healthkart, Mukesh Agarwal, Director - AMW, Himanshu Aggarwal, CEO - Aspiring Minds and Kevin S. Parikh, CEO - Avasant.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Sunil Goyal, Lomesh Dutta and Akshay Khanna in July 2014, Near.in is an app which lets people search for local services, and helps them connect with service providers and professionals. Whether it is finding a Karate Instructor, a makeup artist for Home Visit, a Home Baker, a Dietician to help lose those extra pounds or anyone offering a great service. The app acts like a hyper curated marketplace. Before starting Near.in, Lomesh and Sunil cofounded Wirkle, a mobile apps company which was acquired by Location Labs, a Silicon Valley based firm (the firm was later acquired by AVG). Sunil is an IIT Delhi graduate while both Lomesh and Akshay both hold an engineering degree from Delhi College of Engineering.
On talking about how their app is different from Justdial, Lomesh says the app is hyper curated and this is what differentiates them; also the app focuses more on personal services instead of business listings.
Akshay Khanna, co-founder of Near.in says, “At Near, we exclusively on-board only top rated local service professionals that have been recommended by the members of local community and/or are specifically nominated by our users. This approach is helping us build a highly trusted destination where people can connect with the relevant providers without any clutter.”
The company launched operations in their first city, Gurgaon in December 2014 with diverse set of local service professionals across Home Needs, Health and Wellness, Events and Skills – covering over 100+ services needs.
Manish Vij, Founder of SVG Media (Tyroo, Letsbuy.com) who joins as an advisor and lead Angel investor said, “Drawing a parallel with the product e-commerce marketplaces, Near.in is building the next big thing – a marketplace for local services.”
With recent funds, the company has ambitious plans to position itself as a leading marketplace for local services in India. The money will be used for expansion across product development, sales and marketing.