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Aditya Rao

Aditya Rao

Company: LocalOye (Imma Web Pvt. Ltd)

Area of operation: Local household and personal services

Founded: 2013

Founder: Aditya Rao

Funding: $5 million (Rs 31 crore) in Series A and an undisclosed amount in angel funding

Investors: Tiger Global Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sidharth Rao (co-founder, Webchutney), Haresh Chawla (former group CEO Network 18 and currently a partner with private equity firm India Value Fund Advisors) and and Sachin Bhatia (co-founder, MakeMyTrip).

Business model: LocalOye offers services in more than 90 categories across home, education, beauty, health and fitness, event planning and online consultancy services. It claims to work with more than 4,200 partners across services and has serviced more than 5 lakh customers. The company has operations in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi-NCR region.

It’s now recasting its business model to focus on business-to-business (B2B) customers for better monetisation, its founder told Techcircle.in recently.

“We don’t want to put in a lot of money in marketing initiatives in an attempt to acquire a customer in a business-to-customer (B2C) model. We are now focusing on acquiring customer in a cost-effective way, and thus are focusing on the B2B business,” said Aditya Rao, founder, LocalOye.

LocalOye is now aiming to power the back-end of other B2C home services players across India. “Services are ancillary to whatever you do—when you buy a house, you need a plumber, electrician or pest control. So it is better to tie up with real estate players. Similarly, when you buy a TV on an e-commerce platform, you need someone to install it,” Rao said, explaining LocalOye’s strategy.

The firm has also opened up its service partner app to other players in this space based on monthly subscription.

The collapse: The firm has been struggling with weak unit economics and high cash burn while dealing with retail customers. Industry executives, who did not want to be named, told Techcircle that almost 80% of the staff had been laid off. Last year, the firm had laid off 60% of its 100-member call servicing unit, after it decided to automate the process of hiring service professionals.