Apna - The fastest Indian startup to enter the unicorn club this year!
Apna is an app that helps India's blue-collar workers to find jobs. In the past, it had raised $70 million from Tiger Global and insight partners at an evaluation of $570 million. With the latest $100 million Series C funding, Apna is now valued at $1.1 billion and has replaced B2B e-commerce platform Udaan as the youngest start-up to reach the unicorn status.
Employment in India is recovering as Asia's third-largest economy may be turning a corner. Apna went live just before the pandemic hit and has grown 50x in the last 12 months thanks to unprecedented demand from segments like Trade, E-Commerce and Healthcare.
WHY was APNA BUILT?
Apna was built for job seekers on the margins and was positioned as a platform similar to LinkedIn for non-English speaking, non-affluent Indians.
Users of the platform enter their name, age and skills to generate a virtual business card that is sent out to potential employers. The app connects some 10 million job seekers such as delivery personnel, painters, salespeople and salon workers to more than 100,000 employers from Burger King to Amazon.com Inc.
Apna.co, which was present in about 14 cities in June, has expanded to 28 cities in the last two months. It also is available in different languages, catering to the different cities that it operates in.
Apna is known for the training it offers users on the app. It offers micro-courses on topics such as conversational English and acing job interviews. Its algorithms are personalized and match candidates with the right employers. The interview training imparted helps users gain more confidence and be efficient at work.
Apna.co has 1.2 million users within a year and is serving 1,50,000 employers across 70 working communities. The clients working with Apna are Zomato, Flipkart, The Urban Company, Byjus, Phonepe and Burger king! The start-up plans to utilize the fresh injection of capital for product development and add to its 280-member team across functions like engineering and product. It also plans to use these funds for expansion across the country and target overseas markets such as Africa, Middle East, and the United States next year.
While the company is currently focused on growth, it is in its early stages of monetizing its products. The company has run pilots for paid products and sees opportunities in the recruitment and the upskilling market.
In conclusion, we believe that this comment from a renowned venture capitalist aptly summarizes the potential that Apna presents to the world. “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 throughout their careers and not just in a single interaction." Amit Patel, managing director, Owl Ventures.