Apna, a 21-month-old startup that’s serving to tens of millions of blue- and gray-collar employees in India upskill themselves, discover communities and land jobs, is inching nearer to turning into the quickest tech agency on this planet’s second-largest web market to change into a unicorn.
Tiger World is in superior levels of talks to guide a $100 million spherical in Apna, in response to 4 sources accustomed to the matter. The proposed phrases worth the startup at over $1 billion, the sources mentioned.
The spherical hasn’t closed but, so phrases of the deal might change, a number of the sources cautioned.
If the spherical materializes, Apna will change into the youngest Indian startup to realize the much-coveted unicorn standing. The startup, which launched its app in December 2019, was valued at $570 million in its Collection B financing spherical in June this 12 months. It can even be the third financing spherical Apna would have secured in a span of lower than seven months.
Tiger World, an present investor in Apna, didn’t reply to a request for remark earlier this month. Apna founder and chief government Nirmit Parikh, an Apple alum, declined to touch upon Tuesday.
Indian cities are house to a whole bunch of tens of millions of low-skilled employees who hail from villages searching for work. A lot of them have misplaced their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic that has slowed a number of financial actions on this planet’s second-largest web market.
Apna, whose title is impressed from a 2019 Bollywood tune, is constructing a scalable networking infrastructure in order that these employees can connect with the correct employers and safe jobs. On its eponymous Android app, customers additionally upskill themselves, evaluation their interview expertise and change into eligible for extra jobs.
As of June this 12 months, Apna had amassed over 10 million customers and was facilitating greater than 15 million job interviews every month. All jobs listed on the Apna platform are verified by the startup and freed from price for the candidates.
The startup has additionally partnered with a few of India’s main private and non-private organizations and is offering assist to the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India, Nationwide Talent Growth Company and UNICEF YuWaah to offer higher skilling and job alternatives to candidates.
The funding talks additional illustrate Tiger World’s rising curiosity in India. The New York-headquartered agency has made a number of high-profile investments in India this 12 months, together with in BharatPe, Gupshup, DealShare, Classplus, City Firm, CoinSwitch Kuber and Groww.
Greater than two dozen Indian startups have change into a unicorn this 12 months, up from 11 final 12 months, as a number of high-profile traders, together with Tiger World, SoftBank and Falcon Edge, have elevated the tempo of their investments on this planet’s second most populous nation.
Apna additionally counts Perception Companions, Lightspeed and Sequoia Capital amongst its present traders.