Professional Networking Platform Apna.co Bags $8 Mn In Series A Round
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Apna.co, a networking platform for grey- and blue-collar workers, on Tuesday announced that it has raised $8 million in a Series A round from its existing investors Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital India. The round also saw participation from new investors such as Greenoaks Capital and Rocketship VC.
Founded by Nirmit Parikh in 2019, the platform provides communities for skilled professionals such as carpenters, painters and field sales agents, among others. On the platform, a user can find job opportunities, connect with their peers and learn new skills. The platform has attracted 1.2 million users.
At a time when job losses are high due to stringent lockdowns in the back of rising COVID-19 cases, the platform was able to facilitate more than one million job interviews in the last 30 days. The platform registered 3 million professional conversations during the same period.
The company which is operational in five cities is planning to utilize the fresh fund to test new markets while continuing to launch multiple cities every month in its core market India. The company is also enhancing the platform based on its users’ suggestions which includes learning new skills, launching their own business and earning credentials.
Parikh, founder and chief executive officer at Apna.co, said, “Apna’s mission is to connect people with opportunities. We want to uplift the workers who form the backbone of the economy and provide them a platform to grow in their career.”
Commenting on the recent development, Vaibhav Agarwal, partner at Lightspeed India Partners Advisors, said, “The most powerful thing for me about Apna is its communities—I’ve seen people help each other start a business, learn a new language or find a gig! Communities rely on trust and make the model infinitely scalable. We are very excited by Apna’s evolution since our first investment in them at the pre-product, idea stage last year.”
Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital India LLP, added, “There are over 250 million blue and grey-collar workers in India at present and providing meaningful employment opportunities to this segment is one of the biggest challenges in our country. With Internet usage in this demographic growing rapidly, further catalysed by the Jio effect, apps such as Apna can play a meaningful role in democratizing access to employment and skilling. Apna has built a unique product where users quickly come together in professional communities, an unmet need so far”.