The LinkedIn of the poor, “Apna” app, raises 8$ million.

The LinkedIn of the poor, “Apna” app, raises 8$ million.

“There are over 250 million blue and grey collar workers in India,” Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital India, said in the statement announcing the funding. The startup aims to create jobs for the poor and daily wage labourers, especially during the lockdowns.

It was an attempt to curb the unemployment rates among the poor .”Apna”, an app startup by an Apple’s alum was released. The app’s main objective is to connect millions of workers at the bottom of the professional pyramid to probable employers.

Due to abrupt and stringent lockdowns taking place all over the nation, a lot of people on the verge of poverty and with jobs were made redundant. Nimrit Parikh, Apple’s alum had launched the app less than a year ago. It has already gained around 1.2 million (12 lakh), users. Although the app hasn’t branched out further into the nation, it seems to have a promising future.

On Tuesday 1st September, the app in a statement had announced that it had managed to raise $8 million from investors interested in the startup during the lockdown. The fundings arrived from investors like Greenoaks Capital, Rocketship VC, Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital. The fundings will help the app to increase itself in more cities of India. As of now, the app functions in five cities. Apna also wishes to grow vertically across sectors like accounting, customer service and nursing.

There are over 250 million blue and grey collar workers in India,” Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital India, said in the statement announcing the funding. “Apna has built a unique product where users quickly come together in professional communities, an unmet need so far.”

The “Apna” app sort of functions like LinkedIn but for non-English speaking and citizens on the verge of poverty. People who are first-time internet users are assisted with securing job opportunities by making them enter basic details. Like their name, age, skills, etc to generate a virtual “business card”. The card is then distributed among employers, who can employ them. The app was launched in December of 2019.

The app generated over one million job interviews in the last month. Many workers such as carpenters, painters and field sales agents, grew over 3X month-on-month, according to the company. The company also mentioned that Amazon.com, online grocer BigBasket and HDFC Bank have hired employees through the app. (Source: TechCrunch)

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