Apna, a 21-month-old startup that is helping millions of blue-collar and gray-collar workers in India to upgrade their skills, find communities and land jobs, is slowly approaching becoming the fastest tech company. in the second largest Internet market in the world to become a company. Unicorn.
Tiger Global is in advanced stages of talks to lead a $ 100 million round in Apnaaccording to four sources familiar with the matter. The proposed terms value the startup at more than $ 1 billion, the sources said.
The round has not yet closed, so the terms of the deal may change, some of the sources warned.
If the round materializes, Apna will become the youngest Indian startup to achieve the coveted unicorn status. The startup, which launched its app in December 2019, was valued at $ 570 million in its Series B financing round in June of this year. It will also be the third round of financing Apna would have been insured in a period of less than seven months.
Tiger Global, an existing investor in Apna, did not respond to a request for comment earlier this month. Apna founder and CEO Nirmit Parikh, an Apple alumnus, declined to comment Tuesday.
Indian cities are home to hundreds of millions of low-skilled workers who come from villages in search of work. Many of them have lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic that has slowed down various economic activities in the world’s second-largest internet market.
Apna, whose name is inspired by a bollywood song from 2019, is building a scalable network infrastructure so these workers can connect with the right employers and secure jobs. In its eponymous Android app, users also improve their skills, review their interview skills, and become eligible for more jobs.
As of June this year, Apna had accumulated more than 10 million users and was facilitating more than 15 million job interviews each month. All jobs listed on the Apna platform are verified by the startup and are free for candidates.
The startup has also partnered with some of India’s leading public and private organizations and is supporting the Indian Ministry of Minority Affairs, the National Skills Development Corporation and UNICEF YuWaah to provide better skills and job opportunities. to the candidates.
The investment talks further illustrate Tiger Global’s growing interest in India. The New York-based firm has made several high-profile investments in India, including BharatPe, Gupshup, DealShare, Classplus, Urban Company, Coinswitch Kuber, and Groww.
More than two dozen Indian startups have become a unicorn this year, compared to 11 last year, as several high-profile investors, including Tiger Global, SoftBank and Falcon Edge, have increased the pace of their investments. in the second most populous nation in the world.
Apna also counts Insight Partners, Lightspeed, and Sequoia Capital among its existing investors.