A 22-month-old startup that’s helping millions of blue- and gray-collar workers in India be taught new abilities and discover jobs has grow to be 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 World. The brand new spherical — a Collection C — valued Apna at $1.1 billion. TechCrunch reported final month that Tiger World, an current investor in Apna, was in talks to guide 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 investment secured by Apna this 12 months. Apna was valued at $570 million in its Collection B spherical in June this 12 months.
The buyers’ pleasure comes as Apna has demonstrated a powerful progress 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 house to a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of low-skilled staff who hail from villages searching for work. Lots 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. Locally, they interact with one another, alternate notes to carry out higher at interviews and share tricks to negotiate higher compensation.
On high of this, Apna connects these staff to potential employers. In an interview with TechCrunch, Apna founder and chief govt Nirmit Parikh mentioned greater than 150,000 employers — together with Zomato, Bharti AXA, City Firm, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease and G4S World — are on the platform, and over 5 million jobs are lively.
The startup, whose title is impressed from a cheerful 2019 Bollywood track, has facilitated over 18 million job interviews up to now 30 days, he mentioned. Apna is presently operational in 28 Indian cities.
The thought for Apna got here, Parikh has mentioned, after he was puzzled to seek out that whilst there are a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of blue- and gray-collar staff in India, finding them while you want help with a job typically proves very tough.
Previous to beginning Apna, Parikh, who beforehand labored at Apple, met these staff and went undercover as an electrician and ground supervisor to know the issues they had been dealing with. The issue, he discovered, was the disconnect. Staff had no means to seek out who wanted them for jobs, they usually had been additionally not related with each other. The group facet 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 abilities to grow to be eligible for extra work alternatives. Apna has emerged as one of many fastest rising upskilling platforms — and that might 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 pushed by a novel social and interactive method to connecting employers with job seekers. We count on job seekers searching for significant connections and vetted alternatives to drive Apna’s continued explosive progress throughout India — and the world,” mentioned Griffin Schroeder, accomplice at Tiger World, in a press release.
Now the startup, which has began to monetize the platform, is able to aggressively broaden. Parikh mentioned Apna will proceed to broaden to extra cities in India and by early subsequent 12 months, Apna will start its international enlargement. Parikh mentioned the startup is eyeing enlargement within the USA, South East Asia and Center East and Africa.
“We’ve already created a dent. Now we wish to influence the lives of two.3 billion,” he mentioned. “We would require loopy quantities of assets and a world-class staff to ship. It’s a herculean job, and goes to take a village. However any individual has to unravel it.”