Indian startup ecosystem’s red hot unicorn streak continues to march ahead, and rather aggresively. ‘Apna.co’, a blue collar jobs platform that aims to tackle rising post COVI-19 job crisis for the blue collar folks, just announced closure of its $100Mn Series C round. The round, which was led by Tiger Global, has also led to Apna turning into a unicorn. Just to note, the round is not in addition to June’s $70Mn, but more of a large close at $100Mn, that has been announced today.
The round also saw participation from Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures.
Nirmit Parikh, Apna’s founder and CEO said, “apna has a deep social purpose, and is committed to discovery and creation of opportunities to enhance a billion livelihoods, across geographies. With the continued support of our partners, we aim to accelerate our journey of ‘solving for the world’.”
apna’s job platform leverages a sophisticated algorithm that matches candidates with employers taking into account their skills, experience and preferences. The app also comprises 70+ communities for skilled professionals like carpenters, painters, telecallers, field sales agents, delivery personnel and others.
apna has recorded some impressive numbers, specially in the past year and a half or so. Indian economy, the fifth largest in the world, suffered an economic disaster during both, the 1st COVID-19 wave as well as a much more severe 2nd wave. Most of the economic drought came in, in the low-paying, blue collar segment, with several small businesses shutting shops. That resulted in workers returning to village homes unemployed, and the recovery for them hasn’t really happened since. That, combined with apna’s rather one-of-a-kind digital approach to blue collar jobs, has resulted in the platform witnessing massive growth.
apna claims a staggering 125x growth over the past 15 months and is currently conducting 18 million interviews each month. The company plans to use the proceeds to further strengthen its presence in existing 28 cities and expand pan-India by the end of 2021 to help accelerate India’s economy. The team plans to double down on their edtech platform for skilling and invest in hiring exceptional talent and building world class engineering and product capabilities.
Several of India’s leading unicorns and new-agetech companies, such as Zomato, Urban Company, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease and G4S Global are all apna’s clients. apna claims to have facilitated about 100 million interviews via the app in less than two years.
apna also has plans to build a global enterprise by venturing into new markets such as the USA, South East Asia, and Middle East & Africa starting in 2022.