Gurgaon-based startup Near.in, a service provider discovery tool which helps users discover service providers like plumbers, make-up and tattoo artists in a locality, has raised Rs 1.8 crore from a marquee set of investors including Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, and Manish Vij of adtech firm SVG Media.
Other investors include CEO Prashant Tandon and CTO Gaurav Agarwal of Healthkart.com, Akash Agarwal, global vice-president of the mobile division of enterprise software maker SAP Labs. CEO Himanshu Aggarwal of education firm Aspiring Minds and Kevin Parikh of consulting firm Avasant also participated.
Near.in is a product from its parent company ThumbSpot founded in July 2014 by Sunil Goyal, a graduate from IIT-Delhi, Lomesh Dutta and Akshay Dutta, both graduates from DCE. Before Near.in, Lomesh and Sunil had co-founded Wirkle, a mobile application development firm that was acquired by Silicon Valley-based Location Labs in 2011.
The company, covering over 100 categories including health, home needs and wellness, is operational in Gurgaon, and will include listings from Delhi/NCR by the end of this quarter. Apart from website Near.in is available as iOS app and will soon available on Android as well.
Other services like JustDial and AskMe.com are primary competitors of Near.in and unlike Near.in they cover much larger geographical area in India. What sets Near.in apart is that it aggregates service providers across a number of verticals and has plans of expanding to other categories like hobby classes.
According to Sunil Goyal, competitors like Just Dial and Ask Me offer a paid model, so their target has been the expansion of number of listings on their site. Near.in on the other hand is not looking at any revenue till at least mid-2015. It plans to be selective with the listings and list only recommended players of their respective sectors.