Bengaluru-based gig jobs marketplace Vahan has raised $8 Mn in a Series A led by existing investors Khosla Ventures and Pioneer Fund. With participation from Airtel in the current round, Shakti VC, Spike Ventures, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Verizon’s Guru Gowrappan and Kevin Shannon also invested in the startup in the current round.
Vahan said it will use the funds to further scale its recruitment business and build new product offerings for both companies that hire gig workers and blue collar workers.
Founded in 2016 by Madhav Krishna, Vahan.ai automates the hiring of the blue-collar workforce across sectors like retail, hospitality, healthcare and BFSI. Some of its clientele includes Zomato, Flipkart, Shadowfax, Dunzo, and Swiggy among others. The startup had last raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund and Pioneer Fund.
With Airtel, Vahan has also partnered with the telecom giant to run hiring campaigns across a subscriber base of 300 Mn people. Vahan also claims to have served over 300 Mn candidates providing 100K placements with an average monthly rate of 7000+ blue collar workers across 200 cities.
Vahan connects skilled as well as unskilled workforce to jobs through a WhatsApp chat bot, which also includes a verification process.
According to IBEF, India Inc is likely to generate 7 Mn blue collar jobs by the end of this fiscal year as governmental restrictions are eased, business activity resumes, consumption rises, and seasonal shopping increases need for people in some industries.
The blue collar jobs’ sector comprises jobs such as drivers, security guards, on-demand services and more, and currently includes over 450 Mn people from the country. In addition to this, 92% of this sector is unorganised with less than 1% having access to formal banking services in the country and less than 5% have received any sort of training. As the gig economy roles are rising in India, Google has also taken notice of the segment.
The global tech giant had last year announced that it will launch its entry-level job search app Kormo Jobs in India to target temporary jobs, gig economy workers or any business with a high workforce requirement.
Currently, the market of helping blue-collar employees find jobs, is dominated by startups like Apna — who last raised Series B at $570 Mn valuation in June 2021, Betterplace — which raised $24 Mn in Series C round led by CX Partners and Jungle Ventures, Quickr, OLX jobs, Aasaan jobs, among others. Top companies that hire blue-collar or gig workers include Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Uber, Urban Company among others.