A Bengaluru-based app named Apna helps India’s blue and grey-collar worker find jobs. It has just raised $70 million in its series B funding from investors like Tiger Global and Insight Partners and is valued at $570 million (roughly Rs 4,181 crores). The company will use the capital to help with technology improvements, talent acquisition, and expansion to the US and Southeast Asia. The Apna app went like last year right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and has grown 50 times in the last 12 months, thanks to the unprecedented demand of human resource in sectors like healthcare and e-commerce. So, what is Apna, an app that aims to tackle one of the biggest issues in the country. Let us take a look.
Apna is an Android app that helps low-skilled workers in India find work. It was built by former Apple executive Nirmit Parikh for job seekers on the margins. Parikh was quoted by Bloomberg as calling his app a LinkedIn for non-English speaking, non-affluent Indians. Users enter their name, age, and skills to generate a virtual business card to send out to potential employers. Apna launched the app about 16 months ago. The app connects about 10 million job seekers such as deliver personnel, painters, salespersons, salon workers, and more, the Bloomberg report said. The app has over 100,000 employers on-board including the likes of Burger Kind, Amazon, and more. It is available in 14 cities and is available in six languages, each a mix of English and a local language.
The Apna app also offers training to workers. It provides micro-courses for things like conversational English, acing an online interview, and the likes. The app’s algrithms smoother the hiring process by matching candidates with the right employers and providing them interview training. Further, if a candidate fails an interview, the app woll prompt them to learn particular skills.
Apna has 4,000 skills, many of which are taught by partners or developed in-house. The app also has communities for more than 70 profession categories like carpentry, painting and sales. On the app, users connect to each other and help with leads and share tips to improve at their jobs. All jobs listed on the Apna platform are verified by the startup and free of cost for the candidates.
According to a report in TechCrunch, Apna has also partnered with some of India’s leading public and private organisations and is providing support to the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India, National Skill Development Corporation, and UNICEF YuWaah to provide better skilling and job opportunities to candidates.
The Apna app shows significant potential, especially in the Indian market where there are hundreds of millions of low-skilled workers in search of work. This also comes at a time when millions have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and the ability to find a job without having to step out is surely set to work in favour of the app.