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Amazon in advanced talks to buy stake in home services company Housejoy

It could mean that home services can join the likes of other hot on-demand sectors such as taxi booking, groceries, food delivery.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 16, 2015, 05.04 PM IST
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BENGALURU: Amazon is in advanced talks to buy a stake in on-demand home services company Housejoy, demonstrating the attractiveness of the sector as well the online retailer's ambitions to diversify its portfolio.

The deal, when it happens, will result in Amazon leading a funding round of $15-20 million in the Bengaluru-based startup, according to three people familiar with the development. "The company is in talks with 3-4 other investors to form a consortium and the eventual size of the round could be larger," said one of the sources. Housejoy is backed by serial--entrepreneur couple Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh, as well as venture capital firm Matrix Partners India.

Representatives of Amazon and Housejoy did not immediately reply to emails seeking comment.

Such an investment is significant as Amazon and Google have both made an entry into the on-demand home services market in the United States, and it could portend heightened interest in the space in India too. It could mean that home services can join the likes of other hot on-demand sectors such as taxi booking, groceries, food delivery in attracting investor attention.

Amazon, which is competing with Flipkart and Snapdeal, has also backed other startups in India.

These include online financial services marketplace BankBazaar and gift card technology and retail firm QwikCilver Solutions. Amazon set up a strategic investment team last year under Abhijeet Muzumdar, who was a venture capital investor at Bessemer in India.

Housejoy was incubated at the Ganesh couple's GrowthStory, and has raised up to $8 million, or about Rs 50 crore, from Matrix Partners India in two rounds of funding.

The potential deal with Amazon comes even as UrbanClap, another local services company, is close to raising $25-30 million from Silicon Valley-based investor Bessemer Venture Partners, as ET reported last week.

The deal is likely to give UrbanClap a pre-money valuation of $75 million (.` 500 crore).

Started by BookAdda founder Arjun Kumar and former TutorVista operations head Sunil Goel in December 2014, Housejoy recently appointed former Flipkart product management executive Saran Chatterjee as its CEO to 'to fasten the dynamic expansion plans into more cities and services with a large focus on consumer experience.'

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