This startup – a LinkedIn like platform for India’s blue-collar workers – gets more funds from Lightspeed and Sequoia

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This startup – a LinkedIn like platform for India’s blue-collar workers – gets more funds from Lightspeed and Sequoia
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  • Apna.co, a professional network for India’s grey and blue-collar workers, has raised $8 million from existing investors Lightspeed and Sequoia.
  • The startup has already seen hirings from companies like Amazon, Swiggy, Dunzo, Grofers, Byju’s among others.
  • It is also accelerating efforts to help those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19.
Apna.co, a professional network for India’s grey and blue-collar workers, has raised $8 million from existing investors Lightspeed and Sequoia. The series A funding round also saw participation from new investors Greenoaks Capital and Rocketship VC.

Blue collar workers are professionals who earn hourly for their manual work, while grey collar workers refers to those who work beyond the age of retirement. In India, there are over 450 million people who come under the blue collar category alone.

The ‘LinkedIn’ like jobs platform is building a community for workers like carpenters, painters and sales agents, to get local jobs, network, and also hone their skills.

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Founded by a former Apple exec, Nirmit Parikh, Apna. co says it has more than 1.2 million users and has facilitated over 1 million job interviews generated in the last 30 days alone. “Apna’s mission is to connect people with opportunities. We want to uplift the workers who form the backbone of the economy and provide them a platform to grow in their career,” said Parikh.

India’s gig economy workers can take advantage of a platform like Apna. The startup has already seen hirings from companies like Amazon, Swiggy, Dunzo, Grofers, Byju’s among others.

“There are over 250 million blue and grey collar workers in India at present and providing meaningful employment opportunities to this segment is one of the biggest challenges in our country. With internet usage in this demographic growing rapidly, further catalysed by the Jio effect, apps such as Apna can play a meaningful role in democratizing access to employment and skilling. Apna has built a unique product where users quickly come together in professional communities, an unmet need so far,” said Harshjit Sethi, Principal at Sequoia Capital India in a statement.

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With the latest investment, the startup plans to expand its offerings from the current five cities to several new markets. It is also accelerating efforts to help the millions who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The most powerful thing for me about Apna is its communities — I’ve seen people help each other start a business, learn a new language or find a gig! Communities rely on trust and make the model infinitely scalable,” said Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner at Lightspeed India Partners Advisors.

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