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Huge potential of youngsters can be tapped through gainful employment: Funngro CEO

Funngro is a digital platform that bridges the gap between young people and the workforce. They offer teenagers (aged 15-25) opportunities to learn and earn through freelancing gigs

Huge potential of youngsters can be tapped through gainful employment: Funngro CEO

India has a huge young population with an estimated 440 million people categorised as millennials. Together with Gen Z, the country is likely to have 50 per cent of its population, who are young. This is world’s largest, which needs to be leveraged for reaping the demographic dividend. Therefore, skilling of youngsters along with gainful employment become critical. Funngro is one such digital platform, which provides freelancing opportunities to youngsters. In a conversation with Bizz Buzz, Payal Jain, Founder & CEO, Funngro said that the company has collaborated with several businesses, which are getting their various assignments done through these youngsters. The platform also provides various courses to these young people, who can upskill themselves. Going ahead, the company is planning to enter into staffing and sales space. The digital platform is also looking at entering geographies like the US in coming quarters. Jain said the company is planning to raise capital in coming quarters for expanding aggressively

Can you provide a brief overview about the operations of Funngro? How do you create opportunities for teenage freelancers in your platform?

Funngro is making young India ready for jobs. We provide teenagers earning opportunities with the sole aim of learning. While skills are required for jobs, at the same time, soft skills are also very important for the real world. For instance, time management, commitment, understanding the requirements and other traits are quite important for jobs. And these can’t be taught but only be experienced. That is why, we onboard teenagers and freelancers in our platform and provide them earning opportunities through which they also simultaneously learn. We have more than 22 lakh such young people on our platform. It also shows that young people, especially in tier-II, tier-III and rural areas, are keen to learn and they need a platform to guide them.

What is the age group of these teenagers who seek job opportunities in your platform?

These are the young people in the age group of 15-25 years. Basically, these young people are in college or just came out of college. The upper cap is 25 year. Majority of the people on the platform are in 19-21 year of age group.

What is the motivation behind setting up Funngro? Can you throw some light into this aspect?

After 20-25 years of experience in the corporate world, I was looking at doing something for young India. Prior to starting up this venture, I was in a company, handling many big clients. What I observed in the last job was there were ample opportunities for Indian youth to spend on. Then, I realised that young people should also understand that how money is being earned. That’s how, we started our platform. There are 500 tasks that are customised in our platform. We have tasks like content writing, social media marketing, website designing in which these young people are provided with assignments from clients. But, our platform is not only focussed on gig work, we are also focussed on learning of these teenagers. In our platform, many courses are available from which youngsters will be able to learn.

Many of the gig works, which platforms like you provide have faced much disruption with the advent of Generative AI. How has been your experience so far?

Not exactly. GenAI is an intelligent tool but you need intelligent people to use those tools. Moreover, when you produce GenAI-based content, there will be red flags raised from the clients. So, it has to be leveraged intelligently.

Can you provide a brief overview about your focus verticals?

One is we have freelancers onboarded in our platform. These people are assigned tasks from clients. Secondly, we provide courses in our platform, which can be leveraged by youngsters for learning. Another vertical, we are focussing on is sale of goods. There are many marketing companies, which want these freelancers to talk about their products. When companies run mega advertisements, the core objective is to get impressions. There many companies like edtech, fashion and other brands, which we facilitate to create campaign. That way, these brands get a good visibility as these freelancers create content and post those on social media. So, it is goof brand support for these companies within a short span of time. As far as revenue model is concerned, in case of campaigns, we get certain amount of fees from the brand out of which we give fees to the freelancers. In the freelancing model also, we get a commission. In all these verticals, we have collaborated with several companies.

Are you planning to enter into any new segment in the coming quarters? Can you provide some perspective in this aspect?

Yes, we are planning to enter into new verticals in the coming quarters. For instance, we are looking at staffing. The other category, we are trying to crack is insurance space. We are trying to see if the freelancers can help selling insurance policies or credit cards, then they can also earn fees from this process.

How much a freelancer is able to earn from your platform? Do you have any kind of data on this aspect?

A committed user is able to earn between Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. We have seen around 1 lakh youngsters earning regularly from our platform.

Are you profitable as of now? What are your future plans for coming years?

We have become profitable in the month of April this year. We are entity-wise profitable. As far as funding is concerned, we have raised around Rs 2 crore so far. As you can see, the platform has the potential to scale up at a rapid pace. We plan to raise funds in coming month. As far as amount is concerned, we are looking at raising around $1.5 million of funding from fund houses.

From growth perspective, we have seen 25-30 per cent growth in users month-on-month basis. Our revenue has grown very fast. We are planning to reach a revenue level of around Rs 5 crore by FY25. More than the revenue, we want to ensure that each youngster in the country gets a learning avenue and becomes job ready. In the coming year, our learning platform will be ready leveraging AI. This will provide a skill gap identification and suggest youngsters to upskill themselves.

Next year, we are also planning to go global. As far as geography is concerned, we are planning to enter the US market.

Can you provide some perspective on the privacy issues that the platform has to comply with?

We take care of all the privacy issues. Our mode of operation is remote. Also, we take care of all the other legalities before onboarding a freelancer. In that way, our compliance level is very high.

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