[Funding alert] Jobs platform for blue-collar workers Vahan raises $8M in Series A led by Khosla Ventures
Bengaluru-based jobs and livelihood platform for blue-collar workersraised $8 million in a Series A round led by Silicon Valley investor Khosla Ventures, the startup said on Wednesday.
The round also saw participation from Airtel, SHAKTI VC, Pioneer Fund, Spike Ventures, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (CEO,), Guru Gowrappan (Group CEO, Verizon Media, and former Global MD, Alibaba), Kevin Shannon (former CFO, Harvard Management Company), and others.
The startup will use the funds to further scale its recruitment business and build new product offerings for its fast-growing customer base. In the long run, the company aims to enable better livelihoods for the next billion internet users.
Vahan is a technology-driven platform that helps blue-collar and gig workers find jobs while helping employers find the right candidate. The startup has built tools, including an AI-driven bot on WhatsApp, which are used to recruit workers at a large scale and high velocity, and, in turn, save blue-collar workers from exploitation at the hands of middlemen.
Speaking on the investment, Madhav Krishna, Founder and CEO, Vahan, said,
“We will continue to leverage our deep expertise in building large businesses using technology to take the company to the next orbit of growth. Our goal is to ensure that previously underserved blue-collar workers get access to opportunities across jobs, financial services, and upskilling, and our ambition is to make one billion placements over the next 10 years."
On their continued investment in Vahan, Khosla Ventures Founder Vinod Khosla said,
“The blue-collar worker recruitment opportunity in India is large and growing, and Vahan's ability to leverage technology in building value for both workers and employers at scale is exciting. Vahan is well-positioned to win this opportunity in India and beyond.”
The startup's customers include leading gig-economy companies, including, , , , , , , and .
At present, the startup places 7000+ blue-collar workers across 200 cities every month in gig-economy jobs. From starting as a recruitment-only business, Vahan has now built capabilities around end-to-end workforce management or staffing, thereby providing a comprehensive solution to employers.
Through its machine learning-based technology, Vahan can reduce worker attrition — a problem that plagues most employers that hire blue-collar workers and increase overall worker productivity.
Madhav further added,
“In the words of Jeff Bezos, we’re still at day zero, as helping people find jobs is but a starting point for us. We’re building the world’s largest and richest digital profile database of blue-collar workers, and will leverage our data assets and deep understanding of our target audience to unlock massive value downstream. In the near future, we will help blue-collar workers get access to financial services and even their next upskilling opportunity so that they can grow in their careers and their lives.”