Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Apna enters unicorn club after Tiger, others pump in $100 mn

BENGALURU : Jobs platform Apna has become the latest to join the growing list of Indian unicorns as it raised $100 million as part of its Series C round led by existing investor Tiger Global Management.

The round, which values Apna at $1.1 billion, comes three months after the startup raised $70 million in its Series B fundraise, co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global.

The current round almost doubles Apna’s valuation, which was last valued at $570 million in the June fundraise.

The new round also saw investments from Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequ-oia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures.

According to Apna’s founder and CEO Nirmit Parikh, the startup will use the funds to expand its platform across India. Proceeds will also be used for international expansion and to enter the upskilling segment for the blue and grey-collared workforce. It also plans to ramp up hiring across engineering and product functions.

The two-year-old venture, founded in June 2019, has also become one of the fastest Indian startups to achieve unicorn status, joining the likes of Ola Electric, InMobi’s Glance, business-to-business marketplace Udaan and Paytm Mall, all startups that touched the $1 billion valuation in about two years of starting operations.

“We have registered a 125-fold growth in our business and facilitated over 100 million interviews over the past 15 months. Over the last month alone, Apna facilitated over 18 million interviews, and we have been consistently showcasing strong performance...employment for the rising workforce is a large opportunity with almost 2.3 billion individuals falling under the category," said Parikh.

At present, Apna claims to have over 16 million users and serves more than 150,000 small and medium business (SMB) employers as well as enterprises. Its enterprise customers include Zomato, Bharti AXA, Urban Company, BYJU’S, PhonePe, Burger King, and Delhivery, among others.

It currently has over 5 million active job openings, across 70 segments on its platform and has a presence in across 28 cities in India.

With the fundraise, Apna plans to scale its presence to 250 million users, across 300 Indian cities, with over 1 million employers on its platform, by the end of 2022. By early next year, the company is also planning to enter two new international geographies. It is currently targeting the US, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa for its geographical expansion.

“Apna’s viral adoption is driven by a novel social and interactive approach to connecting employers with job seekers. We expect job seekers in search of meaningful connections and vetted opportunities to drive Apna’s continued explosive growth across India – and the world," said Griffin Schroeder, Partner, Tiger Global.

The company is also betting big on the skilling opportunity and is building a platform to upskill the blue-collared segment, allowing them to search for better-paying livelihood. Apna will look at partnerships to build offerings for this category, while also creating courses, in-house, said Parikh.

“We believe that Apna has the potential to fundamentally shift how companies approach hiring skilled professionals. By incorporating learning and upskilling offerings to drive strong outcomes for its user communities, Apna is building an end-to-end solution that has the potential to help individuals over the course of their career and not just in a single interaction. That repeated interaction and trust they are building on their platform can profoundly impact," Amit Patel, managing director, Owl Ventures.

Apna is also looking to get into the white-collar job opportunities for segments, and has IT jobs also listed on its platform over the past three months.

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Updated: 16 Sep 2021, 07:55 AM IST
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