Facilities Management Startup Jack On Block Raises Funds from Unitus Seed Fund & Others

jackonblockUnitus Seed Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in Jack On Block, a facilities management startup which provides handyman and maintenance services for homes, offices, apartment complexes and the likes.

Angel networks Mumbai Angels and Bangalore Angels have also invested in the Bangalore based company, the fund which backs base of the pyramid companies said.

While the size of the investment is not known, USF typically invests between $50,000 to $100,000 in the first round.

The seed fund, which raised $8 mn from Vinod Khosla, Mohandas Pai, Mike Murray and others some three months ago said that the startup which began operations in mid-2012 now has over 2,000 customers in Bangalore with a staff of over 90 employees.

Why did they invest? USF writes on its site

On one side, about 93% of India’s workforce is in the informal sector. Too many of these people work in pitiable conditions, lacking predictable income and basic labor standards like a job contract, paid leave, and access to even basic insurance.  On the other side urban India is facing a severe shortage of reliable plumbers, electricians, housekeepers and other handyman service providers. We like Jack On Block because it has developed a business model that tackles both these issues effectively and profitably.

istarLast week, the fund announced that it has invested in iSTAR, a vocational skills training company that equips unemployed graduates with additional skills training to make them readily employable in the banking, financial services and insurance industry and the Information Technology  sector.

Unitus has previously invested in companies like Hippocampus Learning Centers and others such as Milaap and Madrat Games. The fund wants to invest in 30- 40 “BOP startups” in India over the next four years.

Impact investors such as Mike Murray, the co-founder of micro-finance pioneer Unitus Labs, Vinod Khosla, the founder, Khosla Ventures and Khosla Impact, 500 Startups and others like former Infosys top executive TV Mohandas Pai, CEO of Manipal group Ranjan Pai are co-investors in the fund.

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