Javed, a middle-aged guy, worked as a driver prior to losing that job previously this year as coronavirus spread across India, prompting New Delhi to enforce an across the country lockdown and temporarily curb numerous service activities.

There are millions of individuals like Javed in India today who have actually lost their livelihood in current months. They are low-skilled employees and are currently struggling to protect another job.

An Apple alum thinks he can help. Through his app start-up Apna, Nirmit Parikh is assisting India’s employees find out new abilities, get in touch with one another and discover tasks.

Parikh’s app is already changing lives. Javed, who might hardly speak a few words in English before, just recently published a video on the Apna app where he spoke about his new job– processing raisins– in English.

In less than one year of its presence, the Apna app– available on Android– has actually amassed more than 1.2 million users.

The start-up announced on Tuesday it has raised $8 million in its Series A financing round led by Lightspeed India and Sequoia Capital India. Greenoaks Capital and Rocketship VC likewise took part in the round.

In an interview with TechCrunch last week, Parikh stated that these employees do not have an organized community. “They are daily-wage workers. They rely on their friends to find jobs. This makes the prospects of them finding a job very challenging,” he said.

Apna app makes up vertical neighborhoods for knowledgeable experts, like carpenters, painters, field sales representatives and

lots of others(Image Credits: Apna)”The most effective thing for me about Apna is its communities– I’ve seen people assist each other start a company, discover a brand-new language or discover a gig! Communities harbinger trust and make the design definitely scalable,” stated Vaibhav Agrawal, a partner at Lightspeed India, in a declaration.

The other problem they deal with is their skill set. “An electrician would wind up working years doing the very same job. If just they had access to upskilling courses– and just knew how helpful it might be to them– they would stand to broaden their scope of work and considerably increase their profits,” said Parikh.

Apna is addressing this gap in multiple methods. In addition to establishing a community, and presenting upskilling courses, the start-up permits users– the majority of whom are newbie internet users– to easily generate a virtual service card. The startup then shares these profiles with prospective employers. (A few of the companies that have worked with from the Apna app in current weeks include Amazon, Big Basket and HDFC Bank.)

In the last month, Parikh said Apna has actually helped with more than 1 million job interviews– up more than 3X month-on-month. During the very same duration, more than 3 million expert discussions happened on the platform.

Parikh stated he prepares to utilize the fresh capital to expand Apna’s offerings, and help users introduce their own businesses. He likewise prepares to broaden Apna, presently available in 5 Indian cities, beyond India in the future.

There are over 250 million grey-collar and blue workers in India, and supplying them significant employment opportunities is among the greatest difficulties in our country, stated Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital India, in a statement.

“With web usage in this group growing rapidly, more catalysed by the Jio effect, apps such as Apna can play a meaningful role in democratizing access to employment and skilling. Apna has built a special product where users quickly come together in expert communities, an unmet need up until now,” he included.

A handful of other players are also trying to find ways to help. Last month, Google rolled out a function in its search engine in India that enables users to create their virtual company card. The Android-maker likewise released its tasks app Kormo in the country.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.