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Serial Investor & Aakash Institute-Famed Aakash Chaudhry Backs Hrtech Startup HONO In A $5 Mn Round

Serial Investor & Aakash Institute-Famed Aakash Chaudhry Backs Hrtech Startup HONO In A $5 Mn Round

Of the $5 Mn, Chaudhry alone pumped $4 Mn into the HR automation startup

With the fund raised, HONO plans to expand its operations across India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and strengthen its product offerings

The startup has 300+ clients including Indigo Airlines, HDFC Bank and Aakash Institute

Hrtech startup HONO has raised $5 Mn in its Series A round. The round saw participation from BYJU’S-owned Aakash Institute’s MD Aakash Chaudhry, Aakash’s Group CFO Hemant Sultania, Amaya Ventures’ Amit Khanna and Udayat Group’s Harsh Gupta.

Of the $5 Mn, Chaudhry alone pumped $4 Mn in the HR automation startup. Chaudhry’s investment in HONO is a first in his portfolio outside the deeptech sector. His portfolio companies include the likes of Plaksha University and SequelOne. Along with this investment, Chaudhry also joins the HONO board and will be actively involved in guiding its business operations.

With the funds raised, HONO plans to expand its operations across India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and strengthen its product offerings. 

Founded in 2008 by Mukul Jain, HONO uses AI to humanise the work-people experience, drive productivity and create future-ready workspaces. From enabling acquisition of talent – parsing to onboarding, checking in on employees and creating payrolls to building an employee alumni network, HONO aims to simplify the workforce lifecycle, enabling organisations to work better.

HONO said it serves 300+ clients including Indigo Airlines, Spencer’s Retail, Kanmo Group, Dainik Bhaskar, Al Fardan Group, NBC Bearings, HDFC Bank, Medicover and Aakash Institute. 

According to the startup, over 1 Mn employees across the 300+ companies use the HONO platform, doubling the startup’s growth in FY22. HONO intends to scale its business and sales verticals along with doubling its client numbers too. It further aims to onboard 5 Mn+ workers in FY23.

Hrtech startup solutions in India are becoming increasingly relevant for businesses as remote working remains a norm. Further, the talent war across top tech companies is also leading many businesses to adopt such solutions to efficiently tap talent. 

Legacy hrtech firms had the biggest slice of the market pie in the last three years, with an aggregate value of approximately $60.4 Bn. By 2025, the projected market value of this industry is expected to be more than double the current $510 Mn.

Amid the growth curve, in April 2022, employee and people management platform Mesh raised $11 Mn in funding from Sequoia’s Surge, RTP Global, Y Combinator Continuity and other angel investors. 

In March 2022, SaaS-based human resource startup Zimyo raised INR 17 Cr from IndiaMART whereas hrtech Darwinbox entered the unicorn club with its $72 Mn fundraise in January 2022.

Last year, another hrtech startup Hiration raised $3 Mn from Prime Venture Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator. AI-powered hiring and proctoring startup Talview also raised $15 Mn in Series B funding from Eileses Capital, Storm Ventures, Inventus Capital and Emergent Ventures.

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