By Tamara Pupic
An online marketplace that connects all types of local service providers with potential clients in the UAE has received seed funding.
A Dubai-based online marketplace that connects service providers with clients in need has raised AED 1.3 million ($353,934) in seed financing.
UAE start-up mrUsta got support from Amjad Ahmad, formerly the CEO of NBK Capital Partners, who has also been credited with investing and developing 25 companies across the region, including start-ups such as Lumba and Mixberry Media.
The funds will be used to further develop the company’s technology and expand marketing efforts to both Ustas – a name for more than 4,000 services providers currently listed on the website – and nearly 10,000 clients they currently cater to on a monthly basis.
Speaking about his latest investment, Ahmad said: “mrUsta eliminates the challenges for both service providers and clients by providing a marketplace that is easy-to-use, highly transparent and effective.
“It is not merely a directory, it is a dynamic platform that matches the best service provider willing to provide a specific service at a set timeframe and price to a client in need of that service.
“Since my first meeting with the team, I have been impressed by the clarity of their vision and relentless drive.
“We have complementary skills and work well together. I look forward to helping the company to develop and grow.”
The idea to connect the best service providers (Ustas) in categories such as plumbers, repairmen, landscapers, or personal trainers, and the UAE residents was developed by Dunia Othman and Ibrahim Colak in late 2013.
Recently, mrUsta joined the Hamdan University H(in)3 business incubation centre.
The site, launched in early 2014, has quickly become popular among Dubai residents who experience difficulties in finding reliable and professional service providers.
“We are making a significant effort to ensure that key categories are well populated with strong Ustas who can deliver great work to clients. We also want to expand our reach to clients and ensure that their user experience is positive and effective on any device they choose.
“And we aim to ensure the best Ustas are on our platform and that they have a strong online presence through our site,” said Othman.
According to Dubai SME, less than 15 percent of SMEs are online while almost every client searches for service providers online first.
“mrUsta is ready for the next phase of growth given the strong resources we added with this funding round,” adds Othman.
“We are one step closer to achieving our vision to make finding a service provider a great experience while simultaneously improving the service quality in the UAE.”