Apnatime Tech, which operates Apna, a professional network for grey- and blue-collar workers, on Wednesday said it has raised $70 million in a Series B funding round at a valuation of $570 million.
The new funding round was led by New York based venture capital giants Insight Partners and Tiger Global, as per a statement. Returning investors were Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Greenoaks Capital, and Rocketship VC.
The Bengaluru-based startup has raised over $90 million in total, within 16 months of product launch. It said it will use the fresh infusion to build newer products, hire for technology roles, and expand to new markets.
The startup plans to double down on its edtech platform for skilling. New geographies that Apna currently eyes for expansion within 2022 are cities within India, as well as Southeast Asia and the Unites States.
The professional networking and jobs platform has grown 50 times in the 12 months ended June 16, with over 10 million candidates and over 100,000 employers as registered users, and has facilitated over 15 million job interviews and work-related conversations.
Currently, Apna hosts about 1.4 million job openings across over 70 different job categories.
Apna onboards users from professions ranging from business development, office assistant and data entry operator to graphic beautician, cooks, housekeeping and electricians, engineers, nurses and teachers.
The platform, via its website and Android app, comprises over 60 vertical communities for skilled professionals, such as carpenters and painters, field sales agents, where users get access to local job opportunities, network with peers, practice interviews, share accomplishments and gain new skills.
Late September, when the startup first raised capital, Apna had a presence in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. Currently it has scaled to 14 Indian cities.
“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,” founder and CEO Nirmit Parikh said in a statement.
Serial entrepreneur Parikh is a Stanford alumnus and former Apple executive who also founded Incone Technologies in 2009, Cruxbot in 2012 and Armada Intelligence Labs in 2017. Cruxbot was acquired by another company, which was then acquired by Intel in 2013.
Apna said it uses a data-science led algorithm that matches candidates with employers taking into account their skills and experience. Companies such as Zomato, Burger King, Bharti-AXA, Delhivery, Teamlease, G4S Global, Shadowfax and 1MG use Apna for respective hiring needs.
Additionally, Apna has partnered with organisations such as National Skill Development Corporation, UNICEF Yuwaah, India’s minority affairs ministry, to provide better skilling and job opportunities.
Other VC backed jobtech startups in India include Able Jobs, Awign, and Gigforce.
There are also cross-functional business categories of jobtech and edtech, such as software coding learning provider Masai School, that operate on an Income Share Agreement (ISA) model wherein a student is charged for the course only after securing a job.