A 22-month-old startup that’s serving to hundreds of thousands of blue- and gray-collar staff in India be taught new expertise and discover jobs has develop into the youngest agency to affix the coveted unicorn standing on the planet’s second-largest web market.
Apna introduced on Thursday that it has raised $100 million in a spherical led by Tiger Global. The new spherical — a Series C — valued Apna at $1.1 billion. TechCrunch reported final month that Tiger Global, an present investor in Apna, was in talks to steer a $100 million financing spherical within the startup on the unicorn valuation.
Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures additionally participated within the new spherical, which is the third investment secured by Apna this 12 months. Apna was valued at $570 million in its Series B spherical in June this 12 months.
The buyers’ pleasure comes as Apna has demonstrated a formidable development in latest months. The startup has amassed over 16 million customers on its 15-month-old eponymous Android app, up from 10 million in June this 12 months.
Indian cities are dwelling to a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of low-skilled staff who hail from villages looking for work. Many of them have misplaced their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic that has slowed a number of financial actions within the South Asian market.
Apna has constructed a platform that gives a group to those staff. In the group, they have interaction with one another, alternate notes to carry out higher at interviews and share tricks to negotiate higher compensation.
On prime of this, Apna connects these staff to potential employers. In an interview with TechCrunch, Apna founder and chief govt Nirmit Parikh stated greater than 150,000 employers — together with Zomato, Bharti AXA, Urban Company, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease and G4S Global — are on the platform, and over 5 million jobs are lively.
The startup, whose title is impressed from a cheerful 2019 Bollywood music, has facilitated over 18 million job interviews prior to now 30 days, he stated. Apna is at the moment operational in 28 Indian cities.
The concept for Apna got here, Parikh has stated, after he was puzzled to search out that at the same time as there are a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of blue- and gray-collar staff in India, finding them while you want help with a job typically proves very tough.
Prior to beginning Apna, Parikh, who beforehand labored at Apple, met these staff and went undercover as an electrician and ground supervisor to grasp the issues they have been going through. The drawback, he discovered, was the disconnect. Workers had no means to search out who wanted them for jobs, they usually have been additionally not related with each other. The group side of Apna, which now has over 70 such teams, is aimed toward addressing this problem.
The Apna app permits these staff to be taught new expertise to develop into eligible for extra work alternatives. Apna has emerged as one of many fastest rising upskilling platforms — and that will clarify why GSV Ventures and Owl Ventures, two high-profile companies recognized to again edtech startups, are investing within the Bangalore-based agency.
“Apna’s viral adoption is driven by a novel social and interactive approach to connecting employers with job seekers. We expect job seekers in search of meaningful connections and vetted opportunities to drive Apna’s continued explosive growth across India — and the world,” stated Griffin Schroeder, companion at Tiger Global, in a press release.
Now the startup, which has began to monetize the platform, is able to aggressively develop. Parikh stated Apna will proceed to develop to extra cities in India and by early subsequent 12 months, Apna will start its international growth. Parikh stated the startup is eyeing growth within the USA, South East Asia and Middle East and Africa.
“We have already created a dent. Now we want to impact the lives of 2.3 billion,” he stated. “We will require crazy amounts of resources and a world-class team to deliver. It’s a herculean task, and is going to take a village. But somebody has to solve it.”
#Note-Author Name – Manish Singh