Founded in 2017, Jaipur-based Capacita Connect is a skills development startup, working with 38 sectors for 240 job roles, helping companies with the right manpower.Athira Nair
Capacita Connect became the first woman-led startup to give an exit to Rajasthan Angel Innovators’ Network (RAIN). Except lead investors Rajneesh Bhandari and Mahavir Sharma, Chairman and Co-founder of RAIN, who have exited partially, all other investors have completely exited.
The Jaipur-based skill development startup was founded in 2017 by IIM-C alumni Shipra Bhutani, Nimish Bhutani, and IIT-Bombay alumnus Vivek Lodha (who joined as Co-founder and CEO in 2018). Vivek is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and a startup mentor, currently acting as the Director at JVS Foods. He has bought the minority investors’ stakes.
Capacita Connect is a digital aggregator of skills ecosystem in India that helps students from counselling to skilling and placement/employment, and helps industries with the right manpower. Its flagship product Skill Connect is a digital platform to connect verified skilled manpower across industries. The startup collects data directly from vocational institutes, validates it, and maps it for the industry.
It works with 38 sectors (including aerospace, agriculture, domestic workers, electronics and hardware, and healthcare) across 240 job roles, ranging from security guards, delivery executives, and stewards to telecallers and computer operators.
Talking to YourStory about the latest development, Shipra said that Capacita Connect’s winning element is its penetration in rural areas. “Our users are trained by the government, and the employers need not worry about the background check as we do Aadhaar verification for them.” She added that the startup focusses on women, and the SC/ST and OBC populations.
“We have been able to bring people who worked as manual scavengers into cleaning jobs in shopping malls. Working with self-help groups across communities, we enhance the employability of the underprivileged people by training them in English speaking and computer skills.”
Around 10,000 clients include OYO, Zomato, KFC, Swiggy, Bata, and SBI, and one crore people are registered on its app (for employment).
Capacita Connect has won many accolades including YourStory SheSparks 2018, CII Industrial Innovation Award, and Excellence in Placement by the Govt of Rajasthan.
The startup is aiming for global presence by 2021. It has raised Rs 5 crore from four rounds, and claims to have 30-40 percent growth in revenue every quarter, turning profitable in FY 2019. Shipra said that they are looking to raise Rs 20 crore next at Rs 70 crore valuation.
As a single platform for candidates for counselling, upskilling, and placement, Capacita Connect promotes social upliftment. It has onboarded entities including Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation Limited (RKCL), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Ministry of Rural Development (MORD), Sector Skill Council (SSC), State Skill Mission (SSM) Rajasthan, among others for the training and upskilling.
With Quantum Career Academy - a training partner with National Skills Development Corporation – Shipra claims the startup has provided skill training and employment opportunities to more than 20,000 people, including prisoners, army widows, and war-affected women in Afghanistan.
Skill Connect’s skill centres are operating out of 10 states where around 6,500 students obtain industry oriented-training every year. For each placement, the startup charges Rs 2,000 from a company. But 60 percent of its revenue is generated through sponsorship by the government and CSR activities. Students are charged around Rs 4,000-5,000 for a three-month course.
Rajasthan Angel Innovators' Network (RAIN) is a group of angel investors in Jaipur focussing on early-stage businesses, which have a potential to create scale and value. Shipra tells YourStory that their investors have been a great mentor, helping build the team with five IIT graduates, including CTO Gajendra Arya from IIT Bombay.
Mahavir, who is also a TiE Global Trustee, told YourStory that Capacita Connect has shown great monthly traction and investors could see the potential for growth. The company has kept larger stake by keeping the number of investors to a minimum.
“Capacita Connect’s revenue model is working very well. Instead of the subscription model for companies to hire people, they have unlimited access to the services through this SaaS model,” he says, adding that rather than just increasing the number of registrations, Capacita Connect has focussed on the quality as well.
He elaborates, “We created a matrix with people of specific skills and abilities readily available. So if Swiggy needs 500 delivery boys in a particular location, we will be able to provide data on how many candidates know how to drive, own a bike, speak English, etc.”
According to Mahavir, this exit is a boost for startups from Tier-II cities. “People are already calling us from places like Nagpur and Surat, saying they want to build angel networks and collaborate with TiE. We will co-invest with local investors in startups that are already seed-funded and are entering a pan-India stage.”