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2015-03-25

Delhi based Anant Learning raises seed fund from Ennovent, Upaya Social Ventures

Anant Learning and Development aims to become one of India\'s leading organisations providing placement support to both urban and rural youth.

Members of the Ennovent Circle, the Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Upaya Social Ventures, closed a seed investment round in Delhi based Anant Learning and Development.

This investment in Anant is the eight investment facilitated by the Ennovent Circle - an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets - since its launch three years ago. It is also the fourth investment made by Ennovent's Impact Investment Holding.   

Upaya's support of Anant Learning has been made possible by Creative Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy fund that invests in employment and empowerment initiatives that provide vulnerable youth around the world with the means to create a better life for themselves.  

Founded by Delhi based Ajit Singh in 2012, Anant Learning and Development aims to become one of India's leading organisations providing placement support to both urban and rural youth. To do so, the company maps semi-skilled manpower in the country through post placement tracking and assessments and provides credible data on its recently launched livelihood promotion job portal, Rozgar Mela based on expectations of both employers and job seekers. It is one of the few job portals that also caters to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and workers in the informal sector.

Till date, Anant Learning has leveraged its existing SHG and NGO network to expand operations in pan India. They have already partnered with NSDC and the Agriculture Sector Skill Council to perform over 10,000 assessments in 14 states. Anant Learning has also partnered with two state governments and two private training agencies to perform post placement tracking and measure the impact of interventions.

With this investment, Anant Learning aims to scale its service operations by investing in technology infrastructure to improve its data collection capabilities for the job portal and by implementing suitable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to optimize operations and enhance internal systems and processes.  

"Anant Learning and Development is very happy to have Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Upaya Social Ventures on board as investors. We at Anant have been working to ensure that young people from poor communities across India have adequate skills training and regular access to secure, stable employment with credible employers," said founder Ajit Singh.

"This investment will enable us to increase the scope of data collection for our job portal Rozgar Mela, by which a larger number of urban and rural youth can gain employment. Also, by investing in technology infrastructure we will be able to consistently track and analyse the impact of our interventions on both job seekers and employers," he added.  

Speaking about the investment, Joel Rodrigues, Manager, Ennovent Circle, said, "The unique selling proposition of Anant Learning is its strong linkages to the industry and direct contact with the beneficiaries. This helps the company understand the needs of potential employees and connects the disconnected rural youth to the employment system."  

Data from International Labour Organization (ILO) states that 48 per cent of employers face difficulty in filling up jobs in India. This is caused by lack of available applicants, shortage of hard and soft skills and shortage of employable labour. As a result, the unemployment rate among graduates and above for the age group of 15 - 29 years is estimated to be at 36 per cent and 26 per cent for rural and urban areas respectively.

"Upaya sees Anant Learning's platform as enhancing the ability of young men and women from poor communities to earn a stable, dignified living," said Upaya's Director, Business Development, Sreejith Nedumpully.

"By harnessing technology along with a geographically diverse network of trainers and assessors, Anant Learning is able to remove the inefficiencies from the system," added Nedumpully.

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