International

Amazon Puts $23M In On-Demand Home Services Startup

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The eCommerce giant led the latest $23 million funding round for India-based startup Housejoy, which specializes in providing on-demand home services.

The Series A funding round also included participation from existing investor Matrix Partners, along with newcomers Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm and Ru-Net Technology Partners.

Housejoy was founded in 2014 and is currently available in 11 cities across India, but the company’s CEO, Saran Chatterjee, told TechCrunch that there are plans to bring the service to 25 more cities by the end of 2016. Outside of just offering cleaning services, the Web platform also supports beauty, fitness, plumbing, laundry, electrical/appliance repairs and more.

Amazon has come in as a financial investor, [which offers] potential [partnership] opportunities,” Chatterjee said.

“Amazon is very particular about its fulfillment — furniture, home appliances, phones, etc. — which have a very specific experience. While they are selling the product, we can take care of the fulfillment experience, such as furniture installation and ongoing maintenance.”

For now, Amazon continues to hold the top eCommerce spot in India.

Earlier this week the company celebrated that Amazon.in has become the most visited eCommerce site in India by giving away a free gift voucher worth Rs 200 for any customer who made a purchase of Rs 500 or more.

“We have built a vibrant marketplace with tens of thousands of sellers offering everyday low prices on India’s largest selection of over 30 million products and bringing alive our promise to the customers. We will keep growing our investments in India and continue to work hard for our Indian sellers and customers,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos noted in a released statement.

The big news for Amazon comes on the heels of a report highlighting just how lucrative an opportunity Indian eCommerce might shape up to be. According to Boston Consulting Group, the eCommerce industry in India is expected to touch $60 billion–$70 billion by 2019, up from $17 billion in 2014.

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