Leading test prep company Aakash+BYJU’S' managing director and deep-tech investor Aakash Chaudhry has led human resources (HR) automation firm HONO's Series A round of funding with $4 million (Rs 30 crore roughly).
In a bid to double the scale of its operations, HONO has raised overall $5 million (Rs 37.7 crore approximately) in the Series A, including $ 1 million (Rs 7.7 crore approximately) from other individual investors such as Hemant Sultania, Amit Khanna of Amaya Ventures, and Harsh Gupta of Udayat Group.
With over 300 clients including the likes of Indigo Airlines, Spencer’s Retail, HDFC Bank, and Aakash+BYJU’S, among others and over one million employees on its AI-backed platform, HONO achieved a 2x growth during FY22. However, with a fresh Series A round of funding, HONO is now looking to scaling its business and sales vertical, by doubling its client numbers even as it aims to support five million people on the HONO platform in the current FY'23, said its founder and chief executive officer Mukul Jain.
Moreover, HONO is looking to leverage the fresh corpus of funds to expand its operations across India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, increasing its market footprint and strengthening its product offering.
"We will use the money to hire more innovators even as we look to double or even triple our revenues on the back of the funding. Currently, 85-90 per cent of our business comes from India which could change to 50-60 per cent going forward," said Jain while adding that HONO is also looking to increase the revenues from current $4 million to $15 million in the next two years.
On a global level, the AI-enabled digitized HR tools and solutions market is globally estimated to be at around $24 billion which is growing by an additional $2-3 billion annually.
On his part as a deep-tech investor, Chaudhry said that he will continue to look to invest in businesses that impact people directly such as HR and education.
Commenting on HONO's work with Aakash-BYJU'S over the last 5-6 years, Chaudhry said that the latter was able to scale its people capabilities and build one of the largest training and development teams in test prep industry with the help of HONO's AI and technology tools. "Post Covid, there are several challenges in people management which even large companies are facing that cannot be met without cutting edge HR solutions. With HONO, Aakash Institute has transformed from an archaic system to digitalised HR solutions," said Chaudhry.
Meanwhile, with this investment, Chaudhry will join the Board of Directors of the company and will be actively involved in guiding business operations.