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L to R: Deepak Singhal, Sangharsh Boudhh, Shobhit Singhal and Anubhav Sahoo

L to R: Deepak Singhal, Sangharsh Boudhh, Shobhit Singhal and Anubhav Sahoo

Company: Qyk, pivoted to Papertostone (Novicle Technologies Pvt. Ltd)

Area of operation: Local services

Founded:  October 2014

Founder: Deepak Singhal, Sangharsh Boudhh, Shobhit Singhal and Anubhav Sahoo

Funding:  $1 million in pre-Series A and an undisclosed amount in angel investment

Investors: GrowX Ventures, Powai Lake Ventures, Zishaan Hayath (co-founder, Toppr.com), Abhishek Goyal (co-founder, Tracxn.com) and Sahil Barua (co-founder Delhivery).

Business model: Qyk used to be a mobile platform that enabled customers to hire service providers and professionals near their area. This includes those offering services such as wedding photography or language training besides CAs, interior designers and tax consultants. It also helped customers compare and get competitive quotes.

Qyk has now pivoted its business model to turn into an aggregator for home construction, renovation and interior designing services and has rebranded itself as Papertostone.

The Qyk app has been removed from the Google Play Store and the company’s website, Qykapp.com, is redirecting traffic to Papertostone.com.

The collapse: The Qyk story is no different from the overall slump in the local services market. According to some estimates, in just about three years, around 100 home and local services firms had emerged. But soon the bubble burst as these startups realised that the road to profitability was an arduous one. High customer acquisition costs, high cash burn, small-ticket jobs and lack of follow-on investments are taking a toll on many startups in the segment. Many are now tweaking their businesses, pressing the pause button on operations or axing jobs as they try to control costs and sustain investor interest, while some have been acquired by bigger rivals.

“We diluted the Qyk brand because we wanted consumers to associate with what we are doing now. This specific market offers more growth opportunities than the market which we were focusing earlier which prompted us to take the decision,” said Singhal. “Construction is a $100 billion market. It is a great opportunity and we understand how to crack this,” he added.