Indonesia’s 60 million blue-collar workers contribute 20% to its gross domestic product, but they face a lot of uncertainty. Many are forced to bounce from job to job, some fall victim to scam job postings and without a steady employment history, are unable to qualify for financial services, say the founders of Pintarnya. That’s why they created the app, which includes verified job postings and financial services, like loans, for blue-collar workers. The startup announced today it has raised $6.3 million in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital India and General Catalyst. The funding includes a $100,000 grant from Sequoia Spark, a program for women founders in which co-founder Nelly Nurmalasari participated.
Pintarnya was launched this May in major Indonesian cities by Nurmalasari, Henry Hendrawan and Ghirish Pokardas. Nurmalasari and Hendrawan were formerly senior executives at lifestyle super app unicorn Traveloka, while Pokardas was a KKR executive who worked with portfolio companies in financial services.
In an email, the co-founders told TechCrunch that Nurmalasari also owned a hair salon and as an SME owner, she experienced the pain points of trying to hire, filter and verify applicants for blue-collar jobs. She also saw that they struggled to obtain loans from traditional financial institutions because of their lack of verifiable employment and income history.
“The problem became clear when the spillover of her employee’s struggles became hers as these challenges impact employee performance,” they said. “This fortified the vision for a one-stop digital platform that can help in tackling this challenge, to be more employable and access financial services products.”
Pintarnya focuses on the food and beverage, hotel and retail sectors, now reopening after COVID lockdowns, and logistics. It plans to expand into other sectors as well and is open to partnering with employers from other industries.
Job seekers register and create a profile, then Pintarnya uses that information to recommend job openings based on their requirements, location, skills and other data. Key criteria include the distance between a job and their home, their profile and job history and their self-determined capabilities. The team said that as they build a track record of successfully connecting and placing jobseekers with employers, Pintarnya’s recommendation algorithms will become better by “understanding what other jobseeker traits have a higher propensity of converting their application into a successful job placements.” Variables that it takes into consideration include a jobseeker’s current salary and availability, whether or not they have a photo on their CV and the frequency in which they switch jobs.
Pintarnya also works with employers to screen and recruit the most suitable workers for their needs, including online tests. It also verifies job listings’ authenticity to avoid scams and highlights verified job posts using green shield markers. Verification includes checking that a job listing came from a real employer and curating them based on new posts, jobs closest to a jobseeker, jobs for people without experience, salary information and other factors that the platform is experimenting with.
“Technology has transformed the kinds of jobs being created in Indonesia, but the process of hiring, especially in the blue collar segments, continue to be broken,” said Sequoia India managing director Abheek Anand in a statement. “Pintarnya’s founding team brings years of exceptional experience building tech and financial products to solving this problem, and we are thrilled to partner with them in their journey to help millions of Indonesians realize their full economic potential.”