Apna, a jobs marketplace for blue-collar workers, has been valued at $1.1 billion merely two years after it started its operation. The recruitment platform is the fastest Indian startup to become a unicorn after raising $100 million in a round led by Tiger Global.
Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures participated in the Series C round. The startup helps workers get jobs ranging from an AC technician to a graphic designer to a welder. Companies hiring from Apna include Byju’s, Delhivery and Burger King.
Apna is among the fastest to enter the unicorn club
Founded by former Apple executive Nirmit Parikh, Apna- which does not make any money yet- has 16 million users and 1.5 lakh recruiters on its platform. Apna’s valuation in this round doubled from $500 million in June when it had raised $70 million.
Before Apna, it was Merchants payments platform BharatPe among the fastest unicorns, with a timeline of three years.
Apna is one of the fastest Indian unicorns, after e-commerce platform for business Udaan and Ola’s electric vehicles (EV) arm Ola Electric. All three companies took about two years to enter the unicorn club and be valued at over a billion dollars.
The startup will use funds for rapid expansion
“We are going to build the biggest skill-tech platform the world has ever seen. We have grown like crazy, and there are 2.3 billion people in the world who need this,” said Nirmit Parikh.
While it is present in 28 Indian cities so far, Apna plans to use the money raised to establish a presence pan-India and set up operations in the US, Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia early in 2022, Parikh said.
“We are like a reverse LinkedIn. We have started with solving for jobs and are building a community on top of it and skilling on top of it. India is a country where outcomes matter, and we are solving exactly the problem the user is going through,” added Parikh.
The startup is yet to clock any revenue
Another interesting fact about Apna is that it is in the pre-revenue stage and does not make any revenue yet. It was also the case with Ola Electric and Khatabook, currently valued at $600 million and may enter the unicorn club soon.
Apna claims to have 16 million users and 1.5 lakh recruiters on its platform, including Zomato, Urban Company, Byju’s, PhonePe, Delhivery, Burger King and Teamlease. It claims to conduct 18 million interviews every month.
The company was valued at $570 million in June 2021 when it raised $70 million in a Series B round led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global. The company counts Lightspeed India, Greenoaks Capital and Rocketship VC as investors too.