Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of The Times Group, India’s largest media group, will invest up to US$6.5 million in Indorse, a blockchain-powered professional network. The company will make an initial investment of US$2 million as a convertible note at a valuation of US$15 million with the option of a further tranche of US$4.5 million, the company said on Wednesday.
The capital injection will be used for Indorse’s expansion into India and will allow the startup to build demand for its services through the Times Group’s media assets.
Singapore-incorporated Indorse offers a platform that uses blockchain and tokenization for professional social networking. On the Indorse platform, users create an account in just a few seconds, claim skills, and have their abilities validated by experts. The platform allows job seekers to find companies looking for their specific expertise, and companies hire qualified candidates with objectively validated skills.
“We believe Indorse creates real benefits for employers and job seekers alike and the way these groups connect,” said Sam Subramaniam, CEO of Brand Capital. “Our massive media reach to Indian companies and the country’s large talent pool will energize Indorse in a huge way.”
The deal marks Brand Capital’s second investment in a blockchain startup. Brand Capital has also invested in Inmusik, a blockchain-powered music ecosystem.
Founded in 2017, Indorse claims more than 40,000 user signups on the platform, 96 experts programmers in charge of validating and reviewing codes on a daily basis, and more than 1,000 candidates ranging from junior to mid-level programmers.
The company has worked with both small and large tech companies in finding suitable talent. It recently conducted a recruitment event for one of Southeast Asia hottest startups and the region’s first “decacorn,” Grab.
Commenting on the fundraising, Gaurang Torvekar, CEO and co-founder of Indorse, said the capital and support of Brand Capital will allow the company to build its brand and help it “become a major dependable source for employers seeking candidates with the right skills.”
“This is a privileged opportunity for Indorse,” Torvekar said. “The Times Group is a major media group and has a detailed understanding of key recruitment trends, so its support is a massive vote of confidence in our model.
Indorse raised US$9 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 and has received a S$450,000 investment from UK-listed investment and advisory firm Coinsilium Group for a 10% equity stake.