Professional networking platform for job seekers Apna became one of the youngest unicorns from India last year and scooped up $170 million during FY22 to grow rapidly.
The company’s revenue from operations grew 3.8X to Rs 63.9 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2022 when compared to Rs 16.95 crore in FY21, the company’s annual financial statement with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) shows. However, its losses also saw a four-fold spike during the period.
Apna generates the majority of its revenue by providing technical support services to the holding company which provides platform services to recruiters and job seekers. Collections from the same surged over three fold to Rs 63.87 crore in FY22 from Rs 16.93 crore in FY21.
The also company provides recruitment solutions through its web platform and mobile application and collected Rs 2 lakh from it. Earnings via interest on fixed deposits, current investments, and other non-operating income stood at Rs 1.87 crore which drove its total income to Rs 65.76 crore during FY22.
Founded in 2019, Apna is a professional platform that connects recruiters and job seekers. As per its website, the platform has over 50 lakh jobs across 74 cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai et al. With a user base of over 30 million, it has Swiggy, BYJU’s, Paytm, and Flipkart in the list of its more than 300k employer partners.
As per Fintrackr’s analysis, advertising & promotional expenses emerged as the largest cost center, forming 48.6% of the total expenses. This cost shot up 5.1X to Rs 86.64 crore in FY22 from Rs 16.9 crore in FY21.
Employee benefits expense was the second largest cost constituting 43.6% of the overall expenses. The cost ballooned 3X to Rs 77.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 25.9 crore in the previous year. Importantly, this cost also includes expenses on the employee stock option scheme and employee stock purchase plan of Rs 11.92 crore.
Further, training recruitment, legal, and costs related to technical services blew 9.2X, 3.7X, and 3.2X to Rs 3.23 crore, Rs 1.18 crore, and Rs 3.13 crore in FY22. Apna also incurred communication and internet expenses of Rs 1.08 crore, driving the total expenses up by 3.9X to Rs 178.3 crore in FY22 as compared to Rs 45.4 crore in FY21.
On the back of around four-fold jump in expenses, annual losses of the company deepened by 4X to Rs 112.5 crore in FY22 against Rs 28.27 crore during the preceding fiscal year. For context, the company was profitable in FY20 with Rs 30 lakh profit. Cash flows from operations also flew 6X to Rs 123.3 crore during the last fiscal.
While the company increased its expenses at a rapid pace, its EBITDA margin worsened by 399 BPS to -165.68% in FY22. On a unit level, Apna spent Rs 2.79 to earn a rupee during the last fiscal year.
According to a media report, Apna recorded a 60% surge in job postings by small and medium businesses during 2022 which led to over 12 million registrations of professionals on its platform.
Apna competes with the likes of Naukri.com, Indeed, Linkedin, and Monster.com. With its focus on blue collar hiring, Apna has an expanding market to go for, especially when seen in the context of the growing Indian economy, and within that, the massive push for a larger manufacturing base. Of course, that also means that heavyweights like Naukri are hardly likely to sit back and watch. To that extent, the firm faces a very tough climb to move into profitable territory, even as it has the gun powder to keep growing by funding its losses for now. With a large part of the new hires effectively part of the ‘gig economy’, Apna will need to carve out some specific differentiation at some stage to make itself the preferred choice for employers and employees as well. It should be very interesting to see just what route it takes to do that.