Recruitment platform Vahan raises $8M in funding led by Khosla Ventures

Bangalore-based recruitment platform for blue-collar employees has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures.

The Series A round also counts Airtel, Shakti VC, Pioneer Fund (Y Combinator alumni fund), Spike Ventures (Stanford University alumni fund), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Guru Gowrappan (Group CEO, Verizon Media), Kevin Shannon (former CFO, Harvard Management Company), among others, as investors.

With this funding, Vahan will further expand its recruitment business and build new product offerings. The startup had been previously backed by well-known marquee investors such as Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Airtel, others. Apart from this, Vahan had also partnered with telecom company Airtel in April 2020.

Founded in January 2016 by Madhav Krishna, Vahan Inc uses artificial intelligence-based technology to match job seekers with employers through messaging apps such as WhatsApp. The startup counts Zomato, Dominos, Shadowfax, Airtel, Grofers, Dunzo, Flipkart, Altruist as its notable clients.

It has also developed a AI-based chatbot called ‘Mitra’ that enables employers to hire workers in large volumes in a number of industries across India.

According to Madhav, Vahan has grown 10x during the pandemic, currently placing around 7,000 people every month.

“Through our machine learning-based technology, we are able to reduce worker attrition — a problem that plagues most employers that hire blue-collar workers — and increase overall worker productivity,” Madhav Krishna told ET.

“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,” said Vinod Khosla, Founder of Khosla Ventures.

Prior to Vahan Inc, Khosla Ventures had participated in UK-based PolyAI’s $14 million funding round. Juno, Singlestore, Jetty, Checkr, Eight Sleep, Known Medicine, are among its recently invested startups.

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