Bengaluru-based Vahan, a recruitment platform for blue-collar workers, said on Wednesday it has raised $8 million (Rs 59 crore) in a Series A round of funding led by Khosla Ventures.
The round also saw Airtel; SHAKTI VC, led by former Google exec Keval Desai with Eric Schmidt and Michael Dell as limited partners; Pioneer Fund; and Spike Ventures.
Others in the round include Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma; Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan; and Kevin Shannon, former finance chief of Harvard Management Company.
Vahan, which was founded in 2016, was backed by firms such as Y Combinator. It focuses on finding blue-collar jobs for people in sectors such as delivery, driving, retail, BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance), and hospitality.
Vahan’s customers include gig-economy companies such as Zomato, Uber, Flipkart, Swiggy, Rapido, Grofers, Dunzo, and Shadowfax.
The startup said it has built tools, including an artificial intelligence-driven bot on WhatsApp, that are used to recruit workers at a large scale.
Vahan currently places 7,000 plus blue-collar workers across 200 cities every month in gig-economy jobs. The company said it has now built capabilities around end-to-end workforce management.
“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,” Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said.
As the gig economy gains momentum in metros and Tier II cities, investors are betting big on companies that aim to organise the blue-collar workforce.
This week, Jungle Ventures and CX Partners led a $24 million round for BetterPlace Safety Solutions Pvt Ltd, a technology platform for blue-collar workforce management.
In June, Insight Partners and Tiger Global led a $70 million round in Apna, a professional network for grey- and blue-collar workers.
Other venture capital-backed job-tech startups in India include Able Jobs, Awign, and Gigforce.