Success Story of Apna App: How Apna Became The Fastest Unicorn of India

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
May 25, 2022 8 min read
Success Story of Apna App: How Apna Became The Fastest Unicorn of India

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Apna.

Millions of people in India lost their jobs during the last year as the coronavirus pandemic shut down numerous enterprises and forced workers to return home. In India, there are over 250 million blue and grey-collar employees, and providing them with meaningful job opportunities is one of our country's major concerns.

Apna has been developed as a professional networking and jobs platform that will help professionals connect with potential employers and land their jobs. Β  Β 

Founded in 2019, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Apna (digital recruiting business) became a unicorn approximately 21 months after its founding and 15 months after it started full-scale operations. The firm is founded by ex-Apple executive Nirmit Parikh and has now been valued at $1.1 billion following a new fundraising round led by Tiger Global Management.

Read the success story of Apna here and also learn about its founders, business model, revenue model, funding and investors, growth, challenges, and more.

Apna - Company Highlights

Startup Name Apna
Legal Name ApnaTime Inc
Also Known As Apna App
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Industry Employment, Human Resources, Recruiting
Founder Nirmit Parikh
Founded 2019
Valuation $1.1 bn (November 2021)
Revenue $2.25 mn (Rs 16.95 crore in FY21)
Funding $193.5 mn (November 2021)
Website www.apna.co

Apna - Latest News
Apna - About
Apna - Industry
Apna - Founders and Team
Apna - Startup Story
Apna - Mission and Vision
Apna - Logo, Slogan, and Tagline
Apna - Business Model and Revenue Model
Apna - Employees
Apna - Partnerships
Apna - Fundings and Investors
Apna - Growth
Apna - Competitors
Apna - Future Plans

Apna - Latest News

December 4, 2021 - Mithun Madhusudan of Sharechat feat joins Apna as the Head of Product-Communities. The company is looking to onboard 400+ employees in the next 6 months to see quick growth. Β 

16 September 2021 - Apna, a professional networking platform for blue- and grey-collar employees, became the quickest Indian company to join the coveted unicorn club, which includes firms with a valuation of $1 billion or more, in just 21 months.

Apna - About

Apna is an Indian digital recruiting company that links companies with millions of blue-collar workers. Job seekers may use the platform to build a profile that includes their talents, education, and experience, search for opportunities, phone the company directly, schedule an interview, and be hired. It has over 16 million members and 150,000 employers and conducts around 18 million job interviews each month on average.

Employers may use it to advertise job openings, interact with prospects, arrange interviews, and recruit employees. Byju's, Swiggy, Toppr, Flipkart, WhitehatJr, Amazon, Unacademy, BigBasket, Licious, and others are among the company's notable clientele. It's also accessible as an Android and iOS app.

The coronavirus pandemic boosted digital recruiting, with a rise in job postings in manufacturing and e-commerce fueled by the country's recovery from multiple illness waves.

Currently, the app is accessible in 11 Indian languages and 28 cities. The business has also established 70 community networks for professionals in a variety of fields, ranging from beauticians to electricians, to learn from one another and explore prospects.

Apna - Industry

Hiring for India's 250 million low-skilled employees is at an all-time high, with Apna β€” which means "ours" in Hindi β€” listing 5 million job opportunities last month. The coronavirus pandemic boosted digital recruiting, with a rise in job postings in manufacturing and e-commerce fueled by the country's recovery from multiple illness waves.

Employers may reach out to applicants all around the world simply with a mouse click, using a variety of innovative tools and solutions. The majority of background referral checks also include a look at a candidate's digital persona.

Recruiters can quickly determine whether a candidate will fit in and if he or she has the necessary abilities for a position. With cost rationalization and optimization dominating the twenty-first century, this is a boon for businesses, as they will see a significant return on investment if they use digital hiring correctly.

Apna - Founders and Team

Apna was founded by former Apple executive Nirmit Parikh in 2019.

Founder and CEO of Apna
Nirmit Parikh, Founder and CEO of Apna

Nirmit Parikh

Apna is the biggest recruiting and vertical professional network for India's working class, and Nirmit Parikh is the Founder and CEO of Apna. Nirmit was previously a member of Apple's iPhone product-operations team and established Cruxbot (which was bought by Kno, Intel Corporation). He graduated from Stanford University with a Master's degree in business administration.

  • Nirmit Parikh - CEO and Founder
  • Aryan Kenchin - Co-founder
  • Mithun Madhusudan - Head of Product – Communities
  • Priyank Mehta - Intrapreneur - New Initiatives
  • Paresh Rajput - Head of Digital Marketing
  • Yuvraj Khemani - Vice President Finance
  • Devesh Gupta - Product Manager (Community
  • Nikhil Barge - Talent Manager
  • Parina Gandhi - Growth Product Manager
  • Preethi Hv - Senior Manager Talent Acquisition

Mithun Madhusudan, a former Sharechat executive joined Apna on December 4, 2021, as the Head of Product – Communities. With Madhusudan taking up a leadership position in Apna, he is reported to be helping in creating a better user experience for the communities of Apna, which will help the skilled workers interact and learn from each other.

Apna currently has an employee strength of 300+ employees. The startup had earlier posted that it would be adding more than 250 employees to strengthen its team in August 2021, when it used to have around 250 employees. Β  Β  Β 

Apna - Startup Story

After hearing about the difficulty his relatives and friends in India had recruiting employees, Parikh decided to develop Apna. This perplexed Parikh, who asked how India could have a labour shortage when there are hundreds of millions of people actively searching for employment. The issue, as Parikh saw it, was that there was no scalable networking infrastructure in place to connect employees and employers.

Before launching the company, Parikh spoke with employees and went undercover as an electrician and a floor manager to have a better understanding of the issues they faced.

At its heart, the business 'Apna', whose name is based on a 2019 Bollywood film, is addressing the issue of workers' network gaps, β€œA child from a wealthy family attends the best school, attends the finest college, and meets powerful people. It is noted that many people born just a few kilometres away face a completely different sort of life and never experience such chances," said Parikh in an interview.

The company's namesake Android app, which is accessible in various languages, already has over 70 communities for specialized professions including carpenters, painters, and field sales representatives, among others.

On the app, users interact with one another to share leads and suggestions on how to better their careers. People may also use the app to improve their skills, practice their interview skills, and increase their chances of landing a job. According to the company, it is developing Masterclass-style skilling courses, result or job-based skilling, and peer-to-peer learning through its vertical communities. It intends to include a career counselling and resume-building function.

Apna - Mission and Vision

Apna's mission statement says, "Our mission is to provide the best recruitment across various services and help our clients with prime talent."

Apna - Logo, Slogan, and Tagline

Apna's slogan says, "Get a Job. FASTER."

Apna - Business Model and Revenue Model

The app of Apna presently has no advertisements, and Parikh stated that he has no plans to change that. He explained, "Once you get into the ad industry, you start doing things you definitely shouldn't be doing." Instead, the firm intends to make money off of its platform by charging recruiters and providing upskilling classes. However, Parikh stated that Apna will always provide free courses to its consumers. According to him, the premium version would cater to individuals who require a lot of help. The company also intends to grow its workforce.


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Apna - Partnerships

Apna has collaborated with some of India's most prestigious governmental and private institutions, including the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the National Skill Development Corporation, and UNICEF YuWaah, to help applicants get improved skilling and employment prospects.

More than 100,000 recruiters in India use Apna's platform today, including Byju's, Unacademy, Flipkart, Zomato, Licious, Burger King, Dunzo, Bharti-AXA, Delhivery, Teamlease, G4S Global, and Shadowfax. It takes less than five minutes to post a job and you'll be connected to hyperlocal candidates with relevant skills in two days.

Apna - Fundings and Investors

Apna has raised a total of $193.5M in funding over 5 rounds. Apna is funded by 9 investors. Tiger Global Management and Insight Partners are the lead investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Sep 15, 2021 Series C $100M Tiger Global Management
Jun 16, 2021 Series B $70M Insight Partners, Tiger Global Management
Mar 2, 2021 Series A $12.5M Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital India
Sep 1, 2020 Series A $8M Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital India
Jul 5, 2019 Seed Round $3M Sequoia Capital India

Apna - Growth

Apna, a digital employment platform for blue-collar employees, was valued at $1.1 billion just two years after it was launched. Another intriguing aspect about Apna is that it is now in the pre-revenue stage, with no revenue.

Zomato, Urban Company, Byju's, PhonePe, Delhivery, Burger King, and Teamlease are among the 16 million users and 1.5 lakh recruiters on Apna's platform. Every month, it promises to conduct 18 million interviews.

When it received $70 million in a Series B round headed by Insight Partners and Tiger Global in June 2021, the business was valued at $570 million. Lightspeed India, Greenoaks Capital, and Rocketship VC are among the company's investors.

Apna - Competitors

Apna's Top Competitors are:

  • Apna
  • Zippia
  • Multi Recruit
  • TopHire
  • Just Jobs
  • Talentnow Solutions

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Apna - Future Plans

Apna intends to utilize the funds to expand its footprint across India and create businesses in the United States, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia by the beginning of next year.

According to the company, it is developing Masterclass-style skilling courses, result or job-based skilling, and peer-to-peer learning through its vertical communities. It intends to include a career counselling and resume-building function.

And it appears like the wager is paying off. According to Parikh, the business has over 10 million members and has enabled over 15 million job interviews in the previous month. All of the positions on the Apna platform have been vetted by the firm and are available to candidates at no cost.

Apna - FAQs

What does Apna do?

Apna is an Indian digital recruiting business that links companies with millions of blue-collar workers. Job seekers may use the platform to build a profile that includes their talents, education, and experience, search for opportunities, phone the company directly, schedule an interview, and be hired.

When was Apna founded?

Apna was founded by former Apple executive Nirmit Parikh in 2019.

What is the Apna app?

Apna is an Android app to help low-skilled workers in India find work as per their skills.

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