A 22-month previous startup that’s serving to hundreds of thousands of blue- and gray-collar employees in India study new expertise and discover jobs has develop into the youngest agency to hitch the coveted unicorn standing on the earth’s second largest web market.
Apna introduced on Thursday that it has raised $100 million in a spherical led by Tiger International. The brand new spherical — a Collection C — valued Apna at a valuation of $1.1 billion. TechCrunch reported final month that Tiger International, an current investor in Apna, was in talks to steer a $100 million financing spherical within the startup on the unicorn valuation.
Owl Ventures, Perception Companions, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures additionally participated within the new spherical, which is the third funding secured by Apna this 12 months. Apna was valued at $570 million in its Collection B spherical in June this 12 months.
The traders’ pleasure comes as Apna has demonstrated a formidable progress in latest months. The startup has amassed over 16 million customers on its eponymous Android app, up from 10 million in June this 12 months.
Indian cities are house to a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of low-skilled employees who hail from villages looking for work. A lot 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 neighborhood to those employees. Locally, they have interaction with one another, change notes to carry out higher at interviews, and share tricks to negotiate higher compensation.
On high of this, Apna connects these employees 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, City Firm, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease and G4S International — are on the platform and over 5 million jobs are energetic.
The startup, whose identify is impressed from a cheerful 2019 Bollywood tune, has facilitated over 18 million job interviews previously 30 days, he stated. Apna is at the moment operational in 28 Indian cities.
The thought 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 employees in India, finding them while you want help with a process typically proves very troublesome.
Previous to beginning Apna, Parikh, who beforehand labored at Apple, met these employees and went undercover as electrician and ground supervisor to know the issues they have been going through. The issue, he discovered, was the disconnect. Staff had no means to search out who wanted them for jobs, and so they have been additionally not linked with each other. The neighborhood side of Apna, which now has over 70 such teams, is geared toward addressing this problem.
The Apna app permits these employees to study new expertise to develop into eligible for extra work alternatives. Apna has emerged as one of many quickest rising upskilling platforms — and that might clarify why GSV Ventures and Owl Ventures, two high-profile corporations recognized to again edtech startups, are investing within the Bangalore-based agency.
“Apna’s viral adoption is pushed by a novel social and interactive method to connecting employers with job seekers. We count on job seekers looking for significant connections and vetted alternatives to drive Apna’s continued explosive progress throughout India — and the world,” stated Griffin Schroeder, Companion at Tiger International, in an announcement.
Now the startup, which has began to monetize the platform, is able to aggressively broaden. Parikh stated Apna will proceed to broaden to extra cities in India and by early subsequent 12 months, Apna will start its world growth. Parikh stated the startup is eyeing growth within the USA, South East Asia, and Center East and Africa.
“We’ve already created a dent. Now we need to influence the lives of two.three billion,” he stated. “We would require loopy quantities of sources to world class workforce to ship. It’s a herculean process, and goes to take a village. However someone has to unravel it.”