Urban Company Reports Its First Profit Before Tax

It might have taken them a long time to get there, but well-run Indian startups are slowly moving into the black.

Urban Company has said it’s become profitable at a profit-before-tax level for the first time. “In April 2024, Urban Company reached a significant milestone: the consolidated company turned profitable at the profit before tax (PBT) level,” Urban Company co-founder and CEO Abhiraj Singh Bhal wrote on LinkedIn.

“Although our India business had previously achieved profitability, our investments in overseas markets had kept the consolidated business in the red. However, India’s profitability now offsets the overseas losses, making the consolidated business profitable at the PBT level,” he explained.

“Moving forward, our focus is on growing the business profitably and sustainably, while prioritizing the interests of all stakeholders: customers, service partners, employees, and shareholders,” Bhal added.

The profitability milestone is significant for Urban Company, which was founded a decade ago in 2014. Back then, there had been many players in the home services industry including Taskbob, Doormint, HouseJoy and several others. But over the years, most of them fell by the wayside, and have largely shut down their operations. Urban Company, on the other hand, managed to not only raise competitive amounts of capital, but has also out-executed these companies, which means it is now in the enviable place of having a virtual monopoly in the organized home services space in India.

In recent years, Urban Company has even expanded abroad. It has operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sydney and Singapore, and as of last year, was looking to expand into the US. Bhal seemed to indicate that these international businesses aren’t yet making money, but their losses are now being offset by the profits from its India business. There are also indications that the company could go public through an IPO soon.

Urban Company isn’t the only startup that’s managed to turn a profit in recent times. This year, Zomato reported its first-ever yearly profit, Policybazaar too has now reported several profitable quarters, and Delhivery too has reported being in the black. Among unlisted players, Meesho too had reported a profit in Q2FY24. India’s crop of startups from the 2010s were long pilloried for not making profits, but the ones that have survived into the 2020s now seem to finally making some money.