French local service marketplace, StarOfService, gets €1.5M in two funding rounds
Investors behind two of Europe’s biggest business success stories – JustEat and BlaBlaCar – are backing French start-up StarOfService (www.starofservice.com). The heavyweight support comes as the company ramps up efforts to take on the USA’s Thumbtack for domination of the $400 billion local services market.
Klaus Nyengaard, former CEO and Chairman of JustEat who laid the groundwork for its eventual $2.1 billion flotation, has been appointed Head of Advisory Board at the online marketplace, and joins the founders of BlaBlaCar as a fellow investor.
Virtually identical to the Thumbtack model, StarOfService helps consumers to find local services to meet their specific needs, including more niche ones like photographers, dance teachers or DJs. A comparative timeline between the two companies shows that although StarOfService has had far less funding at this point in its lifecycle, it currently receives 96,700 monthly requests – almost ten times more than Thumbtack was getting at the same point along that timeline.
The European start-up has been growing at 600% year-on-year since it was founded two years ago, with around 10,000 new businesses signing up each month, and is the biggest marketplace of its kind in France. It is now looking to stamp its mark on 80 other countries around the world including India (www.starofservice.in), Turkey (www.starofservice.web.tr), Australia (www.starofservice.com.au) and Canada (www.starofservice.ca).
Nyengaard said: “While France has provided the majority of growth and momentum for StarOfService so far, the first data from our other embryonic target markets suggests the potential for growth elsewhere is even bigger than in France.
“We’ve reached a tipping point in the local services space and I’m convinced someone is rapidly going to take the global lead in this huge marketplace, estimated to be worth $400bn. We are going to ensure that the frontrunner is StarOfService.”
Lucas Lambertini, co-founder and CEO of StarOfService, has made it no secret that aside from Thumbtack operating exclusively in the USA, their models are almost identical. However, when looking to the future, he has a different strategy.
“Our vision is bigger,” said Lambertini. “Our success has been unprecedented, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have set ourselves very ambitious and aggressive targets moving forward, and are confident in achieving those.
“Our goal is to become the leading global provider of local services within the next two years, including the USA. We want to be the Uber of local services.”
StarOfServce has secured €1.5m in two funding rounds to date. Investors include BlaBlaCar founders Frédéric Mazzella and Francis Nappez; former eBay and mobile.de executive Ralph Werner; former CEO of Fotolia Oleg Tscheltzoff, plus Point 3 Capital and Kima Ventures. A new Series A funding round is in the pipeline.
The company already has an established presence in key markets such as the UK (www.starofservice.co.uk), Italy (www.starofservice.it), Spain (www.starofservice.es), Germany (www.starofservice.de), Brazil (www.starofservice.com.br) and Russia (www.starofservice.ru).
Source: StarOfService Press Release