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
“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,”
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
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.