Multiverse, a London-based startup seeking to provide an alternative to university training, raised $44 million in a Series B round as it expands to the United States.
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The company, which was previously known as WhiteHat, matches talent who have not graduated from college with apprenticeship opportunities at companies including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft and KPMG. Multiverse describes its services as something like an alternative to a traditional college education and “sporadic” corporate training.
“We think there needs to be an alternative that links work and training explicitly that’s about applied learning but is also about more than that,” CEO Euan Blair said in an interview with Crunchbase News. Blair is the son of former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The apprenticeships are paid for by the employers, who also pay the apprentices for their work. Apprenticeships are generally around 18 months and each apprentice has a coach as they specialize in areas like digital marketing or software engineering.
Besides changing how career paths are formed, the company is also aiming to help companies diversify their teams. Part of the company’s social mission is making sure the best jobs of the next decade don’t go to the same people who had the best jobs of the last decade, Blair said.
It’s clear that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not, said Multiverse’s U.S. general manager Sophie Ruddock.
“We have a strong social mission, but this is also good for business,” Ruddock said, adding that diverse workforces drive better business outcomes.
General Catalyst led the round, with participation from investors including GV, Audacious Ventures, Latitude, SemperVirens, Index Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, 23AndMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson, and Sky Executive Chairman Jeremy Darroch.
With the new funding, the company will be focusing on expanding into the United States. New York will be the U.S. headquarters and the company is planning on setting up regional hubs in cities including Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. Future cities will be determined by employer demand, Ruddock said.
The company will also be investing in expanding its career pathways, Blair said. Data analysis apprenticeships, for example, have been very popular, so the company is planning on expanding there.
Multiverse currently has about 3,000 apprentices in its program, and has about tripled in size in the past year.
The company last raised a $19 million Series A led by Index Ventures in July 2019, according to Crunchbase.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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