IIT alumni set out to organise the on-demand services market with GapoonSindhu Kashyap
The on-demand phenomenon is catching on in India with various startups evangelising different niche services in the hyperlocal space. Right from grocery and handyman services to salons, everything in metros is now accessible on-the-go.
With multiple players in the market, Gapoon believes that there is still lack of a perfect solution to the problem of disorganisation. With huge variety of services, attribute mapping, upfront prices mentioned on the website/app and fully automated lead management system, Gapoon believes it has managed to remove all the hassles involved in this disorganised market and created an end-to-end support for customers and vendors.
Birth of an idea
By maintaining a balance between both the supply and demand side of the market, Gapoon is able to guarantee service quality and punctuality. Apoorva Mishra, Founder and CEO of Gapoon, says that the idea was born out of frustration. When he had moved to Bengaluru last August for a job change he couldn’t find a reliable way to get the basic plumbing and electrical jobs done at his new home.
This was when he along with roommate Ankit Bindal and friend Ankita Asai decided to solve this problem of disorganised market and provide people with an easy and reliable way to get these basic jobs done. "We spent more than a quarter doing thorough market research, understanding the dynamics of such consumer services domain and ideating a best-suited solution," adds Apoorva.
Research and eureka moment
It was during the research the team realised that not only consumers were annoyed at the lack of structure in this market but the vendors too were suffering from a similar frustration. Most of the service providers didn’t have adequate online presence. Those who had were not receiving enough‘quality leads’.
They refer to a quality lead as a job which is, confirmed by the user, is forwarded to only one service provider avoiding any hassles and is coherent to the service provider’s requirement and expertise. Most of such vendors were paying a lot for leads which they couldn’t or wouldn’t cater.
Core team structure
Prior to founding Gapoon Apoorva worked as a business consultant with Fractal and EXL for 18 months in the fields of insurance, retail and telecom. Co-founder and CMO Ankita had worked at Schlumberger as an oil field engineer in North-East India.
Ankit, Co-founder and CTO, worked in Prodintel as Senior Software Engineer. Being a tech-junkie, he handles the website, app development and back-end support for the company. All three were IIT-Kanpur graduates and good friends. Nikhil Gupta, COO, graduated from IIT Delhi in 2013 and worked in Fractal Analytics as a business consultant. He currently handles operations at Gapoon.
Gapoon is a one-stop platform for all users to conveniently hire professional service providers online and also provides quality leads to service providers, promoting their business and saving both time and money.
What does it do?
Gapoon services cover the entire domain of home maintenance like plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, painting, pest control and all types of home appliance and laptop repair. Along with up-front and fair prices, fully automatic lead dispatch and follow-up system, Gapoon aims to provide a solution to disorganisation in the market. "We believe that only by proper standardisation of these services as a product, we can provide a viable solution," says Apoorva.
Traction and funding
From the date of inception in February 2015 till now, Gapoon has served more than 3,500 customers. It claims to be exhibiting a 100-per-cent monthly growth rate in terms of visitors, queries and completed orders. Currently, it stands at 150 orders per day across all services offered in Bengaluru.
Gapoon closed a seed round three months ago from a group of angel investors based out of Bengaluruand Mumbai. It aims to reach 1,000 orders per day in Bengaluru in a couple of months and expand to multiple cities in India in the coming quarter.
Close to 117 on-demand companies are believed to have been funded in 2013. Over the past year, on-demand services have become a rage in India and beauty space has witnessed the debut of a slew of startups like Vyomo, Stayglad, GetLook, Bulbul and VanityCube among several others.
Interestingly, most of the startups had also raised investment this year. YouWeCan-backed Vyomo recently raised little less than USD two million last week while VanityCube secured about USD 3,50,000 from unnamed angels.