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Excl: Blue-collar job portal Babajob raises Series A funding from Gray Ghost Ventures, Vinod Khosla

Bangalore-based Babajob Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the  job portal for blue collared workers, has raised Series A funding of Rs 3.5 crore ($0.6 million) from social venture investment firm Gray Ghost Ventures, besides few individual investors including Silicon Valley veteran Vinod Khosla, sources told Techcircle.in.

When contacted by Techcircle, Sean Blagsvedt, founder & CEO of Babajob, confirmed the firm has raised funding from Gray Ghost and said it has also raised funding from other investors. However, he did not disclose the quantum of funding or share the names of the other investors.

"We would be able to share more information, after we have our board meeting at the end of this week," he said.

Babajob aims to create market efficiency in the informal sector through voice and web features such as SMS, UssD, automated voice systems, and operator manned call centres, enabling employers and job seekers to find each other.

Babajob was set up in 2007 by Blagsvedt, an American national who moved to India in 2004 to work on language technologies and solutions at Microsoft Research's Bengaluru centre. He left his job after three years to set up Babajob.com and Babalife.com. While Babajob is the recruitment portal, Babalife.com is a social network where members could effectively interact with the bottom-of-the-pyramid factions of society.

Blagsvedt and his step-father seed-funded the startup besides raising the angel funding (more on the Babajob history here)

Right now a team of 16, Babajob has over 60,000 customers, who are essentially employers who post jobs. The site claims to be sending over 1 million job alerts each month. In July 2011, the firm had told Techcircle.in it has over 38,000 customers and 6 lakh job listings.

Although there are several job portals in India, almost all the top ones focus on white-collar jobs. These include Naukri.com, Monsterindia.com, Jobstreet.co.in, Timesjobs.com, Shine.com among others.

Gray Ghost Ventures is a global social venture investment firm looking to back companies focused on low-income communities in emerging markets. It has a multi-investment strategy and comes in as creator and manager, sole funder, lead investor, co-investor, general partner or limited partner in operating companies or investment funds. Its focus areas include microfinance, social venture investment and affordable private schools.

The group also has Gray Ghost DOEN Cooperatief, a fund predominantly focused on investing in information, communication and technology ventures targeting low-income communities in India. An affiliated, but independently operated fund, First Light Ventures, incubates ideas and serves as an investor in seed-stage, for-profit social ventures.

In India its portfolio counts names like micropayment service firm Beam, D.light Design, which provides affordable lighting and power solutions and mDhil (mDhil.com) which provides healthcare related information on the mobile, among others.

For more details on investment amount in Series A and the angel investors click here.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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