18 January 2018, Bengaluru. Awign – an ‘outsourcing by crowdsourcing’ platform that taps into India’s growing college student workforce has raised an ₹5cr. seed round of investment from Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) and other angel investors.
Awign enables businesses to outsource aspects of their core operations and sales that require human workforce in distributed locations at high volumes, converts them into virtual internships for India’s growing student community. The startup now plans to expand its presence in 12,000 pin codes across India, partner with 100 corporates and startups and tap into over 500,000 students.
“We are excited to be working with Awign to support their growth. Majority of business operations in India continue to be offline-driven, requiring high-intensity human intervention at all stages. Awign’s strong technology-enabled platform and a growing network of well-trained college temp workforce have successfully streamlined these operations, minimized turnaround time and completely eliminated setup and operation costs in multiple locations,” said Will Poole, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund).
“When we talk about running operations at a large scale, hiring feet-on-street and managing attrition, incessant human interaction forms the most crucial aspect of it. So, the problem is quite apparent, where the solution is not providing huge manpower to enterprises, but getting work done end to end, in a timely and efficient manner. At Awign, we are building the future of work, where businesses can execute core operations across geographies in just a few clicks,” said Annanya Sarthak, Cofounder of Awign.
Creating Opportunities for India’s College Workforce
In India, more than 60 per cent colleges are in tier 2 and 3 cities, villages and towns. Despite this staggering number, employability remains a growing concern as students from tier 2 and 3 colleges lack job readiness skills and don’t have the avenues to hone these skills either. According to data collected by AICTE from more than 10,000 technical institutes across India, of the 15.87 lakh students, only 6.96 lakh received campus placements. In the same year, 93 percent of the total management and 56 percent engineering graduates were unemployed.
Awign bridges this gap through its unique concept of ‘Crowdsourcing in Outsourcing’ wherein it crowdsources the needs of multiple industries (such as customer due diligence, e-KYC verification, merchant onboarding, customer acquisition, audit of existing and potential customers, on-field training of vendors, high volume calling and data moderation etc.), converts them into live projects and assigns these to India’s massive student community in the form of virtual internships.
Awign’s Business Model Finds Strong Growing Connect with India’s Corporates and Startups
The impact created is multifold. For businesses, Awign eliminates multiple challenges such as high fixed costs, inability to cope with demand predictability that results in slow service and increased costs for the customer. For students and graduates, it provides incomes to students while they are studying as well as help them gain exposure and experience from a real job, adding immense value to their future job prospects.
Since November 2016, Awign has worked with over 20 clients across multiple sectors such as ecommerce, IT & ITeS, BFSI, FMCG, media and entertainment, infrastructure and logistics. More than 5,000 students have successfully completed an internship with Awign, earning an average stipend of Rs 6000 – 7000 per month and nearly 50,000 students are currently registered on the platform.
“We are currently operational in 130 cities in India and manage everything without ever physically visiting any city. We want to completely turn our service into product and influence career paths for a million students. The funds would be instrumental in both, scaling our outreach and improving our product,” said Gurpreet Singh, co-founder, Awign.
Awign is an outsourcing company for executing high volume on/off field distributed operations and sales, and it gets the work done through college students. Every project gets converted into a short-time, part-time tasks or an internship. Awign manages everything end to end through its product and bill a client only on the deliverables. Currently operational in more than 130 cities, Awign caters to 7 project verticals namely – Due Diligence & Background Verification, Auditing, Supply Acquisition, Demand Acquisition, On-field Training, High Volume Calling and Data Moderation. More about Awign >
About Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is the leading impact venture fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) invests in sectors including healthcare, education, mobile & consumer, retail & e-commerce, financial services, and agriculture. Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is managed by Capria Ventures which is part of the Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is based in Bangalore and Seattle, and is a member of the Capria Network.