Apna is developing a flexible networking infrastructure, which is presently nonexistent on the market, so that these employees may connect with the appropriate businesses and find work.

Hundreds of millions of low-skilled individuals migrate from the countryside in quest of jobs in Indian cities. The coronavirus epidemic, which has halted various economic operations in the world’s second-largest internet market, has cost many of them their jobs.

Apna A job marketplace for India’s blue-collar workers raised $70mn
Apna A job marketplace for India’s blue-collar workers raised $70mn

Apna, a firm founded by an Apple veteran, is assisting millions of blue and gray-collar employees with upskilling, community building, and job placement. It stated on Wednesday that the market’s approval had helped it raise $70 million in a fresh funding round as the business prepared to grow the 16-month-old app across India.

Apna’s $70 million Series B investment was co-led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global, valuing the company at $570 million. The round included existing investors Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capital India, Greenoaks Capital, and Rocketship VC, bringing Apna’s total fundraising to over $90 million.

How does Apna benefit its users?

On the app, users communicate with one another to share leads and ideas on how to enhance their employment. People may also use the app to improve their skills, practise their interview skills, and increase their chances of landing a job. According to the company, it is developing Masterclass-style skilling courses, result or job-based skilling, and peer-to-peer learning through its vertical communities. It intends to include a career counselling and resume-building function.

According to Nikhil Sachdev, managing director of Insight Partners, Apna has created the “market leading platform for India’s workforce to establish digital professional identity, network, access skills training, and find high quality jobs.”

Apna has worked with some of India’s most prestigious governmental and private institutions, including the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India, the National Skill Development Corporation, and UNICEF YuWaah, to help applicants get improved skilling and career possibilities.

“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,” Apna’s founder and CEO Nirmit Parikh stated. 

How Apna Started

Nirmit Parikh, a former Apple Inc. executive, established Apna in 2019. Apna, which he describes as a LinkedIn for non-English speaking, non-affluent Indians, was created for job searchers on the fringes. The Bangalore-based firm plans to utilise the funds to grow its footprint in current cities and pan-India over the next six months in order to assist India’s economy recover.

“Over the last month, Apna has facilitated more than 15 million job interviews and work-related conversations where users have helped each other to start a business, find a gig or learn a new skill. We are still in the early stages of solving the problem and are excited to continue on this journey with the backing of our new partners,” said Nirmit Parikh, Founder and CEO, Apna.

In India, there are hundreds of millions of low-skilled individuals looking for jobs. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, many of them have lost their employment. Apna, a mobile app that launched shortly before the epidemic, is assisting millions of blue and gray-collar employees in improving their skills, finding communities, and finding work.

Apna comprises approximately 60 specialised professional communities, including carpenters, painters, field sales representatives, and many others. Since its introduction, Apna has grown rapidly, with more than 10 million users and 100,000 companies relying on it to identify suitable employment openings and talent.

How does Apna make profit?

The company plans to monetize its platform by charging recruiters and offering upskilling courses. Apna, on the other hand, will always give free courses to its customers, according to Parikh. The premium version, he claims, would appeal to people who demand a lot of assistance. In addition, the corporation aims to expand its personnel.

Future plans of Apna 

By the beginning of next year, Apna plans to use the cash to grow its reach across India and establish businesses in the United States, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Through its vertical communities, the firm is producing Masterclass-style skilling courses, outcome or job-based skilling, and peer-to-peer learning, according to the company. It will have a career counselling and resume-building feature.