Vertical professional networking platform Apna has raised an additional $12.5 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital India and Greenoaks Capital.
The round also saw participation from Lightspeed India and Rocketship.vc, bringing Apna’s total fundraise to $20 million in the last six months.
The funds will be used to strengthen Apna’s presence in existing cities, expand to 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,” Founder and CEO Nirmit Parikh said in a press statement. “Over the last six months we have facilitated 16 million-plus recruiter-candidate interactions and 30 million-plus work-related conversations, where users have helped each other to start a business, find a gig, or learn a new skill.”
Focused on the grey and blue-collar workforce, Apna founded in 2019 claims to have seen 50X growth in eight months and has more than six million users and over 80,000 recruiters. The platform has vertical communities for painters, field sales agents, and carpenters to name a few. Users can get access to local job opportunities, network with peers, share their accomplishments, practise interviews, and gain new skills.
“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,” said Harshjit Sethi, Principal at Sequoia India. “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.”
The platform is available in Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ranchi, Pune, Delhi-NCR, and Ahmedabad. It plans to expand further this year. Several companies including Urban Company, Kirloskar, and Zomato work with Apna for its speed, relevance, hiring, and customer support.
Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner at Lightspeed India, said: “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”.