Hyperlocal marketplace for services, LocalOye is on an expansion mode. Set up in 2013 as a venue booking service for parties and weddings, LocalOye pivoted last year to its current business model.
LocalOye allows consumers to connect to a pool of vetted service providers through web and app platforms. LocalOye covers over 30 categories of services ranging from beauty to marriage counselling.
In an earlier conversation with YourStory, LocalOye's Founder Aditya Rao said he wants his startup to be “the Flipkart for services”.
This is how the platform works: A customer logs onto the app or website and gives her requirement, say a female yoga instructor who will provide private lessons at home within a particular budget. LocalOye's recommendation engine links the customer to the yoga instructors who fit these parameters. The customer can then compare the service providers, discuss with short listed ones and finalise if the service provider is also happy.
On the service provider's side, they have to fill an extensive form, get their backgrounds checked based on 45 parameters ranging from customer feedback to court records. The approved service providers pay for a pre-paid account with LocalOye and the account keeps getting deducted as he or she gets a customer.
LocalOye, which started operations in Mumbai, has expanded to Bengaluru and Gurgaon and lists over 10,000 professionals and service providers. The company, backed by Tiger Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners, has also shifted base from Mumbai to Bengaluru.
The hyperlocal segment, while nascent, is already getting crowded. At least three to five companies are now present in almost every category, be it food delivery or handyman services. About $250 million has also been pumped into fledgling hyperlocal startups this year.
Aditya believes being a horizontal service player, ie, a provider of services across categories, is the way to go. “We have seen one vertical and multiple verticals. This (multiple verticals) is better with stickiness and loyalty and experience,” said Aditya in a previous conversation.
Aditya speaks to YourStory on how he is now focusing on improving the repeat business rate and on scaling up the number of vendors while keeping the quality intact.