Project Hero has 4 lakhs + construction workers on its platform and has placed over 3000 workers in ongoing projects.
Project Hero, a construction tech startup, building for India’s $63Bn construction labour market, announced that it has raised USD 3.2 million (INR 25.5 crore) in seed funding led by Ankur Capital and Omidyar Network India. The round also saw participation from marquee angels such as Titan Capital and others. The company will use the funds to scale up its technology, on-board more talent on the platform, and expand their market presence. Previously, the company had raised $450k from Titan Capital, Anupam Mittal and Varun Alagh in July 2021.
The labour supply chain in India is extremely fragmented. Over 50 million construction workers still find work through informal channels or through labour contractors. These contractors take advantage of lack of transparency to pay lower wages and at the same time prevent workers from being able to evaluate their skillset and market worth. Further, the entire workforce at construction sites is managed using obsolete means of management which means that there are no employment records or formalization of the workforce. This eventually leads to frequent attrition and delay in projects due to a drop in productivity for the contractors.
Using the Project Hero platform, construction workers get direct access to high-paying jobs, training & access to financial products and services. The company works with contractors of various sizes and helps them recruit and manage workforce via their product. By removing middlemen from the value chain, Project Hero is able to deliver cost & experience benefits to both sides of the marketplace.
Satya Vyas, Founder and CEO at Project Hero said “The Indian construction labour market is highly fragmented and fraught with multiple middlemen in between. They deliver a very bad experience to the contractor & to the labour both. Due to lack of avenues, labourers rely on these middlemen to find work & manage their earnings. These workers never become a part of a formal workforce because their employment record & payroll record is not formally captured anywhere but only on pen and paper at best. Contractors lose significant time and money due to this existing structure. But with the advent of mobile phone penetration, we feel this can be changed. We also feel a product first approach is the right way to solve these problems.”
Krishnan Neelakantan, Partner, Ankur Capital shared, “The trust deficit among key stakeholders in the industry leads to sub-optimal outcomes for all, with workers being excluded from a ‘professional’ experience around their work and career. By leveraging technology to bring transparency into working hiring and engagement, Project Hero is building a trusted platform that can tap into a large market opportunity.”
Badri Pillapakkam, Partner, Omidyar Network India said, “Aligning with our vision to improve the lives of the Next Half Billion, Project Hero formalizes the labour operations of a highly unorganized and under-protected construction sector through innovative use of technology and a bold vision.”
He further added, “In this rapidly digitizing world, Project Hero has the potential to create a significant positive impact on hundreds of thousands of workers through better working conditions, transparency, timely payments and greater utilization.”
Before starting Project Hero, Co- Founders, Satya Vyas, Pukhraj Grewal & Raghu Chopra, all IIT Roorkee graduates, ran a general contracting company for 5+ years, which is where they experience the problems of project delays and mismanagement due to labour & sub-contractor related issues firsthand. Their initial insights & knowledge of the industry helped them rapidly build the MVP for contractor & construction workers who they refer to as Heroes. Currently Project Hero has 4 lakhs+ construction workers on their platform and have placed over 3000 workers to projects. Since the fundraise, the team has continued to strengthen with Sidhant Panda, Sidharth Maheshwari, both IIT Roorkee graduates & from Google & PayU joining the founding team as CTO & VP growth as well.