Apna.co, a professional networking platform for blue and grey collar workers, has raised $12.5 million led by Sequoia Capital India and Greenoaks Capital. Existing investors, Lightspeed India and Rocketship.vc also participated in the round.

Founded in 2019, the app comprises vertical communities for skilled professionals like carpenters, painters, field sales agents, among others. Users on the app get access to local job opportunities, network with peers, and tap into upskilling opportunities.

With the latest funding, the company has raised $20 million in the last six months. Currently present in seven cities, the startup plans to utilise the funds to expand into eight more cities this year and strengthen its presence in the existing ones. It also plans to build its team of 170 by adding 30-80 employees by end of the year.

Currently pre-revenue, the startup plans to launch its paid offerings in recruitment, skilling, and distribution this year, Nirmit Parikh, founder & CEO of Apna, told ET. It will also expand into new markets such as Southeast Asia and the US.

“Our goal at Apna is to connect more and more people to job opportunities by helping them build digital professional identity, network with similarly minded people, and upskilling,” Parikh said.

It counts Urban Company and Zomato among the recruiters on its platform and has onboarded over 80,000 recruiters and more than six million users to date.

Commenting on the fundraise Vaibhav Agrawal, partner at Lightspeed India, said, “Lack of accountability has been the core issue with current skill and vocational learning alternatives for grey and blue-collar workers. Apna has turned the problem on its head by creating net-positive job outcomes for anyone who chooses to upskill on the platform.”

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