Apna, a professional networking platform for blue and grey collar workers, is the latest pick by Tiger Global, the famed New York-headquartered hedge fund that has been writing checks more fervently than ever for Indian startups since the beginning of this year.
The Bengaluru-based startup has raised USD 70 million in a Series B round co-led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners, along with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Greenoaks Capital, and Rocketship VC.
The funding deal values Apna at USD 570 million, five times more than what it was valued at just three months ago when it raised USD 12.5 million in its Series A round. With this recent investment, the two-year-old startup has now raised over USD 90 million so far.
Apna plans to use the fresh funds to build new products, increase its team size, and enter new markets in Southeast Asia and the United States by next year, aside from strengthening its presence in existing Indian cities and expanding its footprints across the country over the next six months, it said in a media statement on Wednesday.
Founded in 2019 by Nirmit Parikh, Apna (Hindi for “our”) connects job seekers with recruiters through its app, facilitating the job application process. The company’s platform hosts many types of job listings, such as office assistants, content writers, carpenters, electricians, and more. It claims to have onboarded over 10 million users, of which a large number of customers come from India’s tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
Currently, Apna is present in 14 cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. It counts companies like Zomato, Burger King, Delhivery, Teamlease, G4S Global, Swiggy, Shadowfax, and 1mg as those which rely on its platform to fulfill hiring needs. The startup claims to have grown by 50 times in size over the last year as millions of low-skilled workers became jobless after COVID-19 hit the country in March 2020.
Over the past five months, Tiger Global has been on a funding spree in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. Writing fat checks along with other marquee investors, it has turned nine startups into unicorns out of 14 firms that entered the elite billion-dollar club this year.
In addition, it has been pumping millions of dollars into early-to-growth stage startups such as automobile startup GoMechanic, health insurance startup Plum, logistic tech startup Locus, and crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber. Reportedly, Tiger Global has been looking at a few more startups to back, including edtech startup Classplus, social community enabler Kutumb, and fintech company BharatPe.