Apna, a 21-month-old business that helps millions of blue- and gray-collar workers in India upskill, establish communities, and obtain employment, is on its way to become the world’s second-fastest digital unicorn. According to four individuals familiar with the subject, Tiger Global is in advanced discussions to lead a $100 million round in Apna. According to the sources, the suggested conditions put the startup’s value at above $1 billion. The round has not concluded yet, so the details of the sale might alter, according to some of the sources.
Apna would become the youngest Indian business to achieve unicorn status if the financing goes through. In its Series B investment round in June, the business, which released its app in December 2019, was valued at $570 million. It will also be Apna’s third round of funding in less than seven months. An earlier attempt for a response from Tiger Global, an existing Apna investor, went unanswered. Nirmit Parikh, the founder, and CEO of Apna and a former Apple employee declined to comment on Tuesday.
Hundreds of millions of low-skilled individuals migrate from the countryside in quest of jobs in Indian cities. The coronavirus epidemic, which has halted various economic operations in the world’s second-largest internet market, has cost many of them their jobs. Apna is creating a scalable networking infrastructure so that these people may connect with the relevant businesses and secure jobs. The name Apna comes from a Bollywood song released in 2019. Users may also upskill, evaluate their interview abilities, and become eligible for new jobs by using the company’s eponymous Android app.
Apna has over 10 million users as of June this year and was arranging over 15 million job interviews every month. All of the positions on the Apna platform have been validated by the firm and are available to candidates at no cost. The firm has also worked with some of India’s well-known public and private institutions, including the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the National Skill Development Corporation, and UNICEF YuWaah, to help applicants get greater skilling and career possibilities.
Tiger Global’s rising interest in India is reflected in the investment conversations. BharatPe, Gupshup, DealShare, Class plus, Urban Company, CoinSwitch Kuber, and Groww are among the high-profile investments made by the New York-based Corporation in India this year. This year, more than two dozen Indian firms have become unicorns, up from 11 last year, as many high-profile investors, including Tiger Global, SoftBank, and Falcon Edge, have boosted the pace of their investments in the world’s second-most populous country. Insight Partners, Lightspeed, and Sequoia Capital are among Apna’s current investors.