News: Vertical professional networking platform raises $12.5 Mn in funding


Vertical professional networking platform raises $12.5 Mn in funding

The vertical professional network of grey and blue-collar workers has grown 50X in the last 8 months and is a market leader with more than 6 million users and 80,000+ recruiters.
Vertical professional networking platform raises $12.5 Mn in funding

Leading market-leading vertical professional networking platform for India’s working class, has raised $12.5 Mn led by Sequoia Capital India and Greenoaks Capital. Existing investors, Lightspeed India and also participated in the round. The funds raised will be used to strengthen its presence in existing cities, expand into new geographies, invest in exceptional talent, as well as build sophisticated engineering and product capabilities.  

“At Apna we aim to uplift the workforce in every sense - over the last 6 months we have facilitated 16 Million+ recruiter-candidate interactions and 30 Million+ work-related conversations where users have helped each other to start a business, find a gig or learn a new skill.” Nirmit Parikh, Founder & CEO, Apna.

Founded in 2019, aims to help India’s rapidly expanding working class of grey and blue-collar workers unlock unique professional, networking, and skilling opportunities. The app comprises of vertical communities for skilled professionals like carpenters, painters, field sales agents, and many others. Users in the app get access to local job opportunities, can network with peers, practice interviews together, share their accomplishments, and gain new skills. 

Apna enables many first-time internet users to build their digital professional identity, broaden their scope of work and increase their earnings. The app claims to have witnessed exceptional growth in a short span since the launch- with 6 million+ users and 80,000+ recruiters, Apna has grown over 50X in the last eight months alone, to become the market leader in its category.

On the employer end, has been able to solve for trust, relevancy, and volume of candidates for its enterprise and small business recruiters. Its sophisticated data-science-led algorithm matches candidates with employers taking into account their skills, experience, and several other needs. Several companies including Urban Company, Kirloskar, Zomato work with Apna for its speed, relevancy, hiring, and excellent customer support.

Apna currently serves users in seven cities in India: Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ranchi, Pune, and Ahmedabad, and plans to expand into new metros and tier two cities in India this year. With plans to expand internationally, Apna believes it is serving an urgent need that’s relevant across markets, including in emerging and established ones like South East Asia and the US. The company raised $8 Mn in Series A in September 2020. 

Further, Apna is rapidly building its ed-tech muscle to help job seekers with interview preparation and upskilling in verticals like accounting, beauty, to name a few. AS per Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner at Lightspeed India, Apna has taken a jobs-centric approach to upskilling. Lack of accountability has been the core issue with current skill / vocational learning alternatives for grey and blue-collar workers. Apna has turned the problem on its head by creating net-positive job outcomes for anyone who chooses to upskill on the platform.

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Topics: Technology, Funding & Investment, #WorkTech, #HRTech

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