Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of media firm Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd, has agreed to invest up to $6.5 million (Rs 45.32 crore at current exchange rates) in Singapore-based human resources technology startup Indorse Pte Ltd.
Indorse uses its blockchain-powered platform to verify the skills, expertise and achievements of candidates looking for new roles, with an initial focus on the coding segment.
Brand Capital will initially invest $2 million in Indorse via convertible notes and has the option of investing another $4.5 million, according to a statement.
Indorse will use the funding to expand into India as well as increase demand for its services using the Times Group’s media assets in the country, the statement said.
Company co-founder and chief executive officer Gaurang Torvekar said the investment by BCCL would help it build out its brand and become a reliable source for employers seeking to fill roles. Torvekar said the company’s platform was increasing the quality of candidate appraisal while driving down costs associated with the hiring process.
“We believe Indorse creates real benefits for employers and job seekers alike and the way these groups connect,” Brand Capital CEO Sam Subramaniam said.
Founded in 2017 by Torvekar, David Moskowitz, Dipesh Sukhani and Avadhoot Kulkarni, Indorse says it uses a team of experts to verify the skills of its platform’s users. The company says it had raised $9 million in 2017. Before that, the UK-based Coinsilium Group Ltd invested 450,000 Singapore dollars in the company in a seed funding round.
In lieu of equity, Brand Capital gives ad space across BCCL’s publications, including The Times of India and The Economic Times. Another BCCL unit, Times Internet Ltd, acquires stakes in technology firms in media and entertainment.
Some of the companies Brand Capital has backed include home diagnostics services provider 5th Vital, in which it invested $500,000 (Rs 3.42 crore) along with a clutch of high-net-worth individuals in July last year.
Last December, it took part in the $35 million (around Rs 245.19 crore) Series C funding round of ed-tech startup Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd.