UAE based Online Home Services Marketplace ServiceMarket.com gets US$4mn VC Funding

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ServiceMarket.com, the largest online home services marketplace in the UAE, announced today the successful close of a $4 million funding round by AddVenture and Emaar Industries & Investments (Pvt.) JSC.

ServiceMarket.com gets a total VC funding of US$ 8 million so far.

Huge potential for home services market in the GCC region, with total estimated market value to be in US$ 20-30 billion annually and just 1% tapped.

This is the company’s fourth funding round following their seed and angel rounds in 2013 and 2015 respectively, as well as their $3 million Series A round secured in 2016, bringing the total amount invested in the company since inception to US$ 8m. Emaar Industries & Investments (EII), an associate of Emaar Properties (PJSC), joined the existing investor AddVenture, an international venture capital fund, in this latest round.

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Founded in 2013, ServiceMarket is an online marketplace that allows users to find and book a home service online. Utilizing the earlier investments, ServiceMarket has grown multiple-fold in just a few years by launching a variety of new services, partnering with hundreds of reputable service providers, and developing proprietary technology. In the last year alone, ServiceMarket has helped over 150,000 customers book a home service online, generating more than USD 30m in sales revenue.

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Commenting on how the latest funding round will benefit the company, ServiceMarket’s founder Bana Shomali remarked, “Our platform today allows UAE residents to book over 35 different home services online. This investment will allow us to offer an even wider range of services to our customers, further establishing ServiceMarket as a one-stop home services platform. We will also be investing in our customer experience to ensure we retain our competitive edge in that area. We will also continue to build out our technology platform not only because it underpins the strength of our business, but also because it has revolutionized the way customers can now book services online.”

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The latest funding round also validates ServiceMarket’s performance in multiple ways. While being a UAE-based startup, it has successfully secured funding from AddVenture, a global venture capital firm for its Series A round in 2016 and its latest Series B round. AddVenture’s participation in both rounds is also a testament to their confidence in ServiceMarket’s growth and results.

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Commenting on their latest investment in ServiceMarket, Managing Partner of AddVenture, Pavel Terentev said, “We are seeing a huge global shift in consumer behaviour from offline to online, and we believe platforms like ServiceMarket, that allow consumers to buy services online, are the future. As a result, we have made over 20 investments worth USD 100m in this space in the last few years. We’re confident that with this round of investment, ServiceMarket will continue to lead and transform the home services market in the UAE and broader region.”

In this latest funding round, AddVenture was also joined by Emaar Industries & Investments (EII). Waleed Dhaduk, the Acting CEO & CIO of Emaar Industries & Investments said, “We have been following ServiceMarket’s traction within Dubai and they have received positive feedback from users on its ease of use, speed and convenience. This investment makes strategic sense for EII under our technology platform, since ServiceMarket offers services that complement our ecosystem.”

Commenting on the investment by Emaar Industries & Investments, Shomali said, “We are extremely excited by EII joining our investor group. Not only does this investment inject capital into our business, but it also unlocks the potential opportunity for ServiceMarket to serve residents of large communities with a unique online solution for home services.”

EII’s investment into the online home services space echoes a global trend where traditional players in property, home improvement and consumer goods have started to invest in technology start-ups that operate in the same space. Some recent examples include IKEA acquiring TaskRabbit in the US, Home Depot investing in Homee, a home maintenance app, and Walmart partnering with Handy.com to offer assembly services to its customers. These partnerships allow these offline players to extend their range of services, expand their sales channels, and offer a better customer experience.

“The size of the home services market in the GCC region is around USD 20-30bn annually, and less than 1% of these services are found and booked online. Compare that to travel, hotels, flights and entertainment where 50-80% of these services are bought online in developed markets. ServiceMarket’s ambition is to deliver home services online to consumers in the region. Our platform does so by making the pricing and the quality of these services much more transparent to consumers, through our quote comparison and user-rating engine,” said Bana Shomali.

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