2nd March, 2021: Apna, the market-leading vertical professional networking platform for India’s working class, has raised USD 12.5 million led by Sequoia Capital India and Greenoaks Capital. Existing investors, Lightspeed India and Rocketship.vc 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.
Founded in 2019, Apna.co is helping 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 has become the app of choice for professionals, many of whom are first-time internet users, to build their digital professional identity, broaden their scope of work and increase their earnings. Apna has 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.
“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
“Apna is well on its way to building a professional social network for India with millions of users in just a few months of launch. Apna aims to provide its users with access to jobs, the upskilling to thrive in these jobs and a community to support them professionally. Sequoia Capital India first led the seed round 18 months ago. The team is excited about the deeper partnership on the back of Apna’s strong user love, rapid growth, and the addition of top talent.” Harshjit Sethi, Principal, Sequoia India.
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.
Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner at Lightspeed India shared, “Apna has taken a jobs-centric approach to upskilling that we are very excited about. 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”.
The platform's 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 USD 8 million in Series A in September 2020.