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'Apna', an app startup that aims to connect millions of bottom-of-the-pyramid workers to employers amid the devastation of India's lockdown, has raised $8 million from a clutch of investors. This app gives first-time internet users to access job opportunities by entering their name, age, and skills to generate a virtual "business card" that's shared with potential employers.
Amid job losses due to lockdown, the app will be helpful for many migrant workers across various verticals. The funding, from new investors Greenoaks Capital, Rocketship VC as well as existing backers Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital, will help the app expand to more cities.
It also wants to grow across verticals such as accounting, customer service and nursing. Currently, Apna is in five cities. The startup, founded by Apple Inc. alum Nirmit Parikh, is a sort of LinkedIn for non-English-speaking, poorer Indians.
In less than a year after its launch in December 2019, Apna app has gained 1.2 million users. The app generated over a million job interviews in the last month for workers like carpenters, painters and field sales agents.
According to the company, they're growing over three times month-on-month. Further, the firm added that Amazon.com, online grocer BigBasket, and HDFC Bank Ltd. have also hired through the app.
"There are over 250 million blue and grey collar workers in India," Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital India, said in the note announcing the funding.
With the app, the start-up has built a unique product where users could quickly come together in professional communities. It has been an unmet need so far.
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