A 22-month old startup that is helping hundreds of thousands of blue- and grey-collar employees in India study new techniques and discover work opportunities has become the youngest company to be a part of the coveted unicorn standing in the world’s next most significant internet marketplace.
Apna announced on Thursday that it has lifted $100 million in a spherical led by Tiger World wide. The new round — a Collection C — valued Apna at a valuation of $1.1 billion. TechCrunch reported previous month that Tiger World-wide, an present trader in Apna, was in talks to lead a $100 million funding round in the startup at the unicorn valuation.
Owl Ventures, Perception Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures also participated in the new round, which is the third expenditure secured by Apna this 12 months. Apna was valued at $570 million in its Series B spherical in June this 12 months.
The investors’ pleasure comes as Apna has shown an extraordinary advancement in the latest months. The startup has amassed in excess of 16 million buyers on its eponymous Android application, up from 10 million in June this 12 months.
Indian metropolitan areas are property to hundreds of tens of millions of lower-competent employees who hail from villages in lookup of get the job done. Several of them have shed their employment amid the coronavirus pandemic that has slowed several economic activities in the South Asian market place.
Apna has developed a system that offers a local community to these staff. In the community, they interact with each other, exchange notes to complete greater at interviews, and share recommendations to negotiate superior payment.
On prime of this, Apna connects these workers to probable businesses. In an job interview with TechCrunch, Apna founder and main government Nirmit Parikh said additional than 150,000 businesses — which includes Zomato, Bharti AXA, City Firm, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease and G4S International — are on the platform and around 5 million work opportunities are lively.
The startup, whose identify is inspired from a cheerful 2019 Bollywood tune, has facilitated in excess of 18 million career interviews in the past 30 times, he mentioned. Apna is presently operational in 28 Indian towns.
The plan for Apna came, Parikh has explained, after he was puzzled to obtain that even as there are hundreds of tens of millions of blue- and gray-collar personnel in India, locating them when you have to have assistance with a task often proves pretty difficult.
Prior to starting Apna, Parikh, who beforehand worked at Apple, met these staff and went undercover as electrician and ground manager to recognize the difficulties they were being going through. The trouble, he uncovered, was the disconnect. Employees experienced no means to come across who needed them for positions, and they have been also not related with a single yet another. The community aspect of Apna, which now has in excess of 70 these types of groups, is aimed at addressing this challenge.
The Apna application makes it possible for these employees to study new techniques to come to be eligible for far more do the job options. Apna has emerged as 1 of the swiftest increasing upskilling platforms — and that would make clear why GSV Ventures and Owl Ventures, two higher-profile companies recognized to back edtech startups, are investing in the Bangalore-based firm.
“Apna’s viral adoption is pushed by a novel social and interactive method to connecting businesses with career seekers. We be expecting job seekers in research of significant connections and vetted opportunities to push Apna’s continued explosive growth throughout India — and the earth,” mentioned Griffin Schroeder, Associate at Tiger World wide, in a assertion.
Now the startup, which has started to monetize the platform, is completely ready to aggressively develop. Parikh claimed Apna will proceed to broaden to far more towns in India and by early next year, Apna will commence its world wide growth. Parikh reported the startup is eyeing expansion in the United states, South East Asia, and Middle East and Africa.
“We have previously created a dent. Now we want to affect the lives of 2.3 billion,” he mentioned. “We will involve mad amounts of methods to environment class crew to provide. It is a herculean job, and is going to choose a village. But any person has to resolve it.”