Airtel acquires stake in Bengaluru based startup Vahan

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New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Friday said it will acquire 8.82 per cent stake in Bengaluru-based Vahan as part of its “Startup Accelerator Programme” to support a vibrant startup ecosystem in the country.

Founded in 2016 and backed by YCombinator and Khosla Ventures, Vahan leverages advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match job seekers with employers inside messaging apps such as Whatsapp.

Airtel said it will help Vahan build significant scale to achieve their vision of enabling jobs for the next billion Internet users.

“The team at Vahan is doing some incredible work to bring jobs to millions of people through AI-based technology. We are excited to partner with them on this vision,” Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

Vahan is focused on finding blue-collar jobs for millions of young Indians in delivery, driving, retail, BFSI, BPO and hospitality sectors with companies such as Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo as clients.

“Airtel will be a key partner for us as we look to solve a hard problem for Bharat. Most blue-collar job seekers are unaware of the opportunities that exist in the market, especially new-age on-demand jobs,” said Madhav Krishna, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vahan.

“Airtel’s distribution channels will help us reach the very depths of the country and in turn, help millions of Indians take control of their economic destiny. We are incredibly excited about this partnership,” Krishna said.

Through Airtel’s Startup Accelerator, early start-ups get access to Airtel’s online and offline distribution network, deep market understanding and ecosystem of global strategic partners.

In addition, Airtel has also developed in-house capabilities around Machine Learning and AI which could be leveraged to aid the growth of start-ups. Furthermore, start-ups also get access to advisory services from Airtel’s executive team.



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