Hyderabad-based Flatpebble.com, an online service that provides high quality professionals such as Photographers, Stylists etc. has recently scooped up $600,000 in funding from the Indian Angel Network (IAN).
Founded in December 2013 by Microsoft veterans Venkatesan Seshadri and Pranav Mehta, the marketplace seeks to bring services belonging to the events & lifestyle niche, right to your doorsteps.
Expounding Flatpebble’s philosphy, Venkatesan Seshadri, CEO and Co-Founder, said
At Flatpebble we take an in-depth approach to services. For every category, we go the extra mile to understand customer needs as well as the service provider’s business requirements. Our solution is focused on helping service providers succeed, while ensuring choice and price transparency for consumers
Adding that the funding would likely be used for increasing supply depth as well as to increase its reach into other categories.
We started with photography and the market has potential of over $ 100 billion. The way we look at the space is that while Just Dial was a pioneer in discovering service provider, as customers there were some inherent problems as only a lead was provided. From then to actually deploying the service, there are a lot of complexities involved. We are taking the experience to the next level.
The company currently has over 2,500 service providers and operates across 14-15 cities, with a revenue figure that is about to touch the 1-crore ceiling.
To start with, you are given a choice of package you wish to pursue from over 1000 packages which are there for taking. Flatpebble will then connect you with the professional related to your package, via a chat service. Pay 30% as an advance to confirm booking, and you are all set to go.
Overseas expansion may be also on the table, as the company eyes service providers — specially photographers — abroad, who are looking to cover Indian weddings. Speaking on the topic, the CEO had this to say,
Initially our thought process was to take the platform to countries like Malaysia and Singapore that has a big Indian community. But we are seeing considerable interest from photographers from outside India who want to cover Indian weddings.
Well, the idea has certainly hit it off with investors, who are all praise for the start-up, and decided that the idea is worth investing in, even before the team pitched. Well, that doesn’t happen too often.
According to Subram Kapoor, the IAN lead investor for Flatpebble,
Most other platforms merely generate a lead but Flatpebble is in control and the entire product is bundled into a packages. This makes it frictionless for the consumers and a better prospect for the photographers.
Subram Kapoor will be joining the board of the company along with Sanjay Jesrani — another IAN representative who led the funding round.