Japan-based staffing group Persol Holdings has made a strategic investment in India-based blue-collar staffing company SmartStaff through its investment arm, Persol Venture Partners.

Tokyo-listed Persol Holdings didn’t disclose the investment size.

Operated by Bengaluru-headquartered Qikwork Services Private Limited and founded in 2020, SmartStaff serves India’s growing manufacturing industry by supplying them skilled workforce.

Smartstaff has so far recruited, trained, and employed 11,000 workers across 50 various manufacturers, according to an investment announcement.

“Smartstaff’s focus on building a full stack innovative model, proprietary technology and inroads into the Indian market has led us to back them. The team comes with strong backgrounds in building companies to scale. At Persol we are excited to work together with Smartstaff to become a prominent leader in the blue-collar staffing solutions space in India,” said Shingo Ishida, partner and head of APAC, Persol Venture Partners.

Smartstaff has raised $10.5 million U.S. in four funding rounds, including the latest corporate round, according to Crunchbase.

“Persol Group has considerable experience in the staffing solutions space, and we are delighted to have their support in offering cutting edge solutions to the industry in India. We are looking forward to creating a much bigger impact on a nation-wide scale in India,” said Arpit Dave, co-founder and CEO at Smartstaff.

Persol Holdings, which also owns a variety of job sites, operates internationally directly and indirectly through investees.

Early this year, the group participated in the $12 million pre-series B funding round of WorkIndia — a competitor of Smartstaff.

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