Recruitment startup Apna is the latest Indian company to join the coveted unicorn club after a fresh round of funding.
Founded in 2019, Apna has also achieved the distinction of being the youngest unicorn. Founder Nirmit Parikh announced that Apna has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round led by Tiger Global, at a post-money valuation of $1.1 billion. Owl Ventures, Insight Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Maverick Ventures and GSV Ventures also participated in the new round, which is the third investment secured by Apna in 2021.
Apna had raised $70 million in a Series B funding round in June. The proceeds from the round went towards expansion to seven Indian cities, taking its total tally to 28 cities in the country. It raised $12.5 million in the Series A funding round in March when the company was operational in only seven Indian cities.
“This will bolster our mission to empower the next billion users in India and beyond, disrupting the employment narrative for the world. We are already on our way to solving complex earth-scale problems of employment, education and poverty. This is a herculean task. We will require the strength of an entire village to join our force in conquering this challenge,” said Nirmit Parikh.
“Apna’s viral adoption is driven by a novel social and interactive approach to connecting employers with job seekers. We expect job seekers in search of meaningful connections and vetted opportunities to drive Apna’s continued explosive growth across India—and the world,” said Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global, in a statement.
Apna’s traction is largely due to high unemployment levels in India’s unorganized, blue-collar economy, which comprises 450 million people. With post-pandemic recovery in full swing and increasing hiring activity, many from the segment are re-entering the jobs market in large numbers. Apna, Google’s Kormo and OLX’s Waahjobs are hoping to digitize this segment.
Founded by Nirmit Parikh, an Apple and Intel alum, Apna has a 170-member core team operating out of Bengaluru. It currently has 16 million users and five million jobs across 70+ categories.