Professional worker networking platform Apna said it raised $ 100 million with a valuation of $ 1.1 billion in its Series C round led by existing investor Tiger Global Management.
The new round also included investments from Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures.
Trickypedia would have exclusively reported via Apna’s fundraiser earlier this month.
This funding round comes three months after the company raised $ 70 million in June through its Series B fundraiser, co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global. At the time, it was valued at $ 570 million.
According to Apna’s founder and CEO, Nirmit Parikh, the startup will use the funds to expand its platform across India. The proceeds will also be used for international expansion and entry into the training segment for blue-collar and white-collar workers. There are also plans to increase the recruitment in engineering and product functions.
“We have grown our business 125x and conducted over 100 million interviews in the last 15 months. In the last month alone, Apna has conducted over 18 million job interviews and we have consistently performed well … Employing the growing workforce is a great opportunity with nearly 2.3 billion people falling under this category, ”Parikh said.
The fundraiser also made Apna, founded in December 2019, one of the fastest to become a unicorn. InMobi’s Glance and Ola Electric achieved unicorn status within two years of their launch. The B2B e-commerce platform Udaan also took around two years to transform into a unicorn. Kunal Shah’s CRED was added to the list within 29 months of its official launch.
Apna is the 27th startup to achieve unicorn status in 2021 alone. On Wednesday, the esports and skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League became a unicorn.
Just last month, seven startups, including Zetwerk, Grofers, Eruditus, CoinDCX, upGrad, MindTickle and BharatPe, increased their new round of unicorn ratings.
Apna’s business model and traction
Apna offers applicants better skill and employment opportunities by enabling vertical communities for painters, field workers, carpenters and others on its platform.
With a presence in approximately 15 cities, Apna claims to address the urgent and critical hiring needs of top companies in India. The list includes Zomato, Burger King, Bharti-AXA, Delhivery, Teamlease, G4S Global, Swiggy, Shadowfax and 1mg, among others.
It has over 10 million users, according to the company’s website, and has served over 1.5 million candidate positions since its inception in early 2020.
Competition and previous attempts at hiring blue and gray collars
The company competes with OLX and Quikr’s Blue and Gray Collar Verticals, WorkIndia, TeamLease, and several others. Baba Jobs and Aasaan Jobs were two prominent early attempts in space. However, neither company scaled as expected and eventually consolidated with Quikr and OLX, respectively.
On Wednesday, Vahan, a job board for workers, raised Series A round worth $ 8 million led by Silicon Valley-based investor Khosla Ventures.