The first quarter of the second year of the pandemic saw funding in HR tech and Worktech continue an upward trend in India. This continued in the second quarter as well. Notable among these were Bengaluru-based job platform and professional network apna securing about $100 Mn, AI-powered hiring and proctoring solution provider, Talview closing $15M in Series B funding, and tech platform for blue-collar workforce management BetterPlace raising $24 million in Series C funding.
Meanwhile, in acquisitions, InfoEdge, parent of the country’s largest recruitment portal, Naukri.com, acquired Bengaluru-based DoSelect.com, to further strengthen its position as a leader in the recruitment sector
Here’s a quick look at the significant fundraisings and acquisitions in the HR tech space and Worktech space in India in the second quarter of this year.
Fundings/ Investments in India from July-Sept 2021
MyMobiForce: Delhi based crowd sourcing platform MyMobiForce also known as Innotion Technologies Pvt. Ltd., raised $1.42 Mn (10.3 Crores INR) as part of Pre-Series A round of funding led by Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund with participation from Group of Angels led by Manu Iyer of Bluehill Capital, Acsys Investments and Ashutosh Agrawal (Ex-Urban Company). MyMobiForce is working on the same line to transform the way technical field services are delivered and this funding will enable the company to continue doing the same.
Onsurity: Monthly employee health benefits platform for SMBs and start-ups, Onsurityhas raised $16 Mn in a Series A round of funding led by fintech investor Quona Capital, alongside existing investors like Nexus Venture Partners. This round also saw participation from healthcare entrepreneur Vivek Garipalli, the founder and CEO of Clover Healthcare.
Mesh: Mesh, a people management platform built for the future of work, announced $5 Mn in funding led by Surge, with participation from co-investors RTP Global, Y Combinator Continuity and Emles Venture Partners. Founded in May 2020 and headquartered in San Jose USA, Mesh makes it easy for employees to actively collaborate with their employer in managing goals, receiving timely feedback, and advancing their career.
RiseBird: RiseBird, a Bangalore based video interview platform, announced that it has received an investment of INR 4.1 crores from SAB Holdings. RiseBird aids global talent acquisition teams in completing the technical screening process in a highly accurate, fast and secure fashion using a marketplace of verified expert interviewers, a video-first interview platform and an artificial intelligence driven behavioral-insights engine. The startup will use the proceeds to strengthen its interviewers’ network, build scientifically tested assessment libraries, further automate its full-stack video interview platform, and expand its customer base.
Hyreo: Indian HR Tech & AI startup Hyreo successfully closed its Pre-series A funding from marquee investors led by Callapina Capital with participation from Anas Rahman Junaid, Konglo Ventures, Raveendranath Kamath, Nat Natraj and other investors from Silicon Valley. Hyreo offers a customised candidate relationship management (CRM) tool with deep conversational AI capabilities, to enterprises and large customers across technology, IT, banking and financial services domains. It plans to use the proceeds from the latest round of funding to fuel its international expansion as well as beefing up its product development teams.
Talview: AI-powered hiring and proctoring solution provider, Talview announced it closed $15Mn in Series B funding to revolutionize talent lifecycle. With this funding, Talview plans to further innovate its video AI platform by adding major capabilities at transaction and aggregate levels and also build extensions for many of the mainstream remote-work platforms to help its customers gain profound insights into talent, and make informed, data-driven, and unbiased talent decisions. The funding round was led by Silicon Valley investor Eileses Capital with participation from existing investors Storm Ventures, Inventus Capital and Emergent Ventures.
BlueLearn: Edtech platform BlueLearn announced that they have raised Rs 25 crore ($450,000) in a pre-seed funding led by Lightspeed, Titan Capital and 2am VC. This investment is in addition to the first round which was led by 100X.VC. The community driven edtech startup plans to use the raised funds to build their core team, hire new talent, and further develop their product to cater to their growing community of users which includes students and professionals alike.
Senseforth.ai: Senseforth.ai, a conversational AI chatbot provider, raised $14 Mn from an AI and analytics solutions provider, Fractal.ai. The investor, Fractal.ai provides artificial intelligence and analytics solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Senseforth.ai aims to utilize the fresh capital generated in gaining and enhancing its presence across Fractal.ai's clients internationally. The recent funding will aid Fractal.ai to solidify its conversational AI propositions on its long term objective to command every human decision in the industry.
Hiration: Founded in 2017 by Anish Raj Sikka and Aditya Sharma, the HR tech startup, Hiration raised INR 21 crore ($3 Mn) from Prime Venture Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator. Currently operational in India and the US, Hiration is an AI-powered career platform which helps professionals create high-impact resumes and find their dream job.
Advantage Club: Gurgaon based HR Tech Startup Advantage Club raised $1.7 Mn in a fresh round led by Y-Combinator, Broom Ventures, Liquid.vc, and Kunal Shah along with other leading angel investors. Advantage Club is a global platform for employee engagement and financial wellness, with benefits like perks, rewards and early wage access on a single platform. With the new fundraise, Advantage Club is gearing to take the platform to an unexplored new customer base internationally, especially in SEA, MENA and North America markets and add financial wellness products like Early Wage Access to its existing comprehensive employee engagement platform.
Gigforce: Gigforce, an on-demand staffing startup has raised $3 Mn (about ₹22 crore) in pre-Series A funding from venture capital funds Endiya Partners, Unitus Ventures, and others. The Gurugram-based firm, which provides pre-screened and pre-trained gig workers to various enterprises said the fresh corpus will be used to strengthen its technology platform and for expansion to newer cities.
Nova Benefits: Nova Benefits, an employee wellness platform in India focusing on corporate health insurance, secured $10 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Susquehanna International Group (SIG) and Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors, which include Multiply Ventures, Better Capital and Titan Capital have also participated in this round. The company plans to use the funding to expand its Engineering, Product Management, Sales and Customer Success teams to build a larger stack of wellness offerings on their platform.
BetterPlace: Tech platform for blue-collar workforce management BetterPlace raised $24 Mn in Series C funding led by Delhi-based CX Partners and Singapore-based Jungle Ventures. CDC Group and Capria Ventures have also participated in this round alongside existing investors Unitus Ventures and 3one4 Capital. The company plans to use the fresh funds to invest in technologies and products to support its exponential growth as well as aggressively pursue inorganic growth opportunities.
Vahan: Vahan, a Bangalore-based jobs & livelihood platform for blue-collar workers, raised $8 Mn in its series A round of funding led by pre-eminent Silicon Valley investor Khosla Ventures. The round also saw participation from Airtel, SHAKTI VC, Pioneer Fund, Spike Ventures, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (CEO, Paytm), Guru Gowrappan (Group CEO, Verizon Media and former Global MD, Alibaba), Kevin Shannon (former CFO, Harvard Management Company) and others. These funds will allow Vahan to further scale its recruitment business and build new product offerings for its fast-growing customer base which comprises leading gig-economy companies and blue-collar workers.
Apna: Bengaluru-based job platform and professional network apna, secured about $100 Mn in series C funding led by Tiger Global. The round also saw participation from Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures. Its future plans entails using the funding to further strengthen its presence in existing 28 cities and expand pan-India by the end of 2021 to help accelerate India’s economy. apna 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.
Leena AI: Employee management platform Leena AI raised $30 million in Series B financing round, bringing the company's total amount raised to $40 million. The round was led by new investors Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from existing investor Greycroft. The round also included an investment from Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin's B Capital Group. The new capital will accelerate product innovation to meet global demand for the platform for new and existing customers. The tech company also plans to expand its employee experience suite to products for IT, Sales, and Finance teams by early 2022.
Acquisitions from July-Sept 2021
DoSelect: InfoEdge, parent of the country’s largest recruitment portal, Naukri.com, acquired 100% of the share capital of Bengaluru-based DoSelect.com, at a cost of INR 21 Cr. The acquisition will further strengthen Info Edge as a leader in the recruitment sector with a sharp focus on tech-based, end-to-end hiring solutions. DoSelect is a data-driven skill assessment platform for hiring and skilling, co-founded by Iliyas Shirol and Rohit Agrawal in 2015.
Great Learning: EdTech startup Byju's has acquired Great Learning, an upskilling platform for professionals. Byju’s is expected to shell out $600 Mn to acquire Great Learning. The acquisition of Great Learning is key for Byju's to enter the upskilling and reskilling segment and is also expected to increase Byju’s' offerings for the international markets.
Coding Elements: Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global backed EdTech startup Scaler academy, has announced the acquisition of Delhi-based online learning platform Coding Elements in an all-cash deal. With this acquisition, Scaler aims to bring synergies between the two companies to strengthen further and expand its offering in the professional upskilling space.
Simplilearn: Blackstone announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading online learning ‘bootcamp’ based in India offering digital skills training and courses to working professionals all over the world. Blackstone’s investment in Simplilearn is yet another endorsement for the digital learning space which has seen a boom post the pandemic.