A 22-month-old startup that’s serving to thousands and thousands of blue- and gray-collar employees in India be taught new abilities and discover jobs has turn out to be the youngest agency to affix 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 Sequence C — valued Apna at $1.1 billion. BadilHost reported final month that Tiger World, an present 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 funding secured by Apna this yr. Apna was valued at $570 million in its Sequence B spherical in June this yr.
The traders’ pleasure comes as Apna has demonstrated a formidable development in current months. The startup has amassed over 16 million customers on its 15-month-old eponymous Android app, up from 10 million in June this yr.
Indian cities are house to a whole lot of thousands and thousands of low-skilled employees who hail from villages in quest of 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 employees. In the neighborhood, 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 BadilHost, 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 World — are on the platform, and over 5 million jobs are energetic.
The startup, whose identify is impressed from a cheerful 2019 Bollywood music, 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 seek out that at the same time as there are a whole lot of thousands and thousands of blue- and gray-collar employees in India, finding them if you want help with a activity usually proves very tough.
Previous to beginning Apna, Parikh, who beforehand labored at Apple, met these employees and went undercover as an electrician and flooring supervisor to grasp the issues they have been dealing with. The issue, he discovered, was the disconnect. Employees had no means to seek out who wanted them for jobs, and so they have been additionally not related with each other. The group facet of Apna, which now has over 70 such teams, is geared toward addressing this problem.
The Apna app permits these employees to be taught new abilities to turn out to be 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 in quest of significant connections and vetted alternatives to drive Apna’s continued explosive development throughout India — and the world,” stated Griffin Schroeder, companion at Tiger World, in a press release.
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 yr, 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 have now already created a dent. Now we need to affect the lives of two.3 billion,” he stated. “We would require loopy quantities of sources and a world-class group to ship. It’s a herculean activity, and goes to take a village. However any person has to unravel it.”