Multiverse, a U.K.-based startup tech company focused on high-quality education and training through a unique apprenticeship model, today announced the closing of a $44 Mn Series B funding round to launch technology and leadership programs across the U.S. The round, which was led by General Catalyst, also features GV (Google Ventures), and includes Audacious Ventures, Latitude, and SemperVirens. Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, who contributed to a $16 Mn Series A investment last year, also participated in the round.
A new entrant to the U.S. market, Multiverse provides driven individuals with apprenticeships –an expert-led period of training that takes place in-work and provides a more direct path than college to high demand digital, technology, and leadership careers. Multiverse’s apprenticeships are paid for by employers and encourage individuals to put aside time-consuming, expensive degrees that fail to teach the skills needed for career success and suffer from a 40% dropout rate in the U.S.
Multiverse’s apprenticeships typically take 1.5 years and connect companies with individuals who otherwise may have not been on their radar due to socioeconomic disadvantages – furthering diversity in the workplace and closing the skills gap in minority communities. Multiverse focuses on the character, intent, and potential of an individual in order to empower and prepare them with the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce. In Europe, Multiverse has generated new talent pipelines for firms in high demand areas like digital, data, tech, and leadership.
The company launched in New York this month with plans for nationwide expansion. In Europe, where it previously traded under the name WhiteHat, the firm has more than 300 clients including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Fujitsu, Capita, Kantar, Skanska, Citi, and Microsoft. The company provides training across a range of qualifications including Digital Marketing, Project Management, Software Engineering, and Data Analysis.
Euan Blair, founder and CEO of Multiverse said: ‘For a long time there’s been a belief that college, supplemented by sporadic corporate training, is the only route to success. This model is fundamentally broken - too often failing to give people the skills they need and not spreading opportunity fairly to the widest range of communities. So we’re building an outstanding alternative to both the college system, and to traditional corporate training. There are many different ways for people to be successful and we’re empowering people from diverse backgrounds to access the very best opportunities through apprenticeships as they embark on a successful and fulfilling career.”
According to a recent Multiverse poll, over 60% of young Americans would consider an apprenticeship instead of college, underscoring the need for new forms of training and education in the U.S. market. Individuals in Multiverse apprenticeship programs benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with social events, mentoring, and leadership schemes designed to exceed the best of the college or university experience.
In addition to the Series B funding and U.S. expansion, Multiverse has secured a significant hire with the appointment of Jeremy Duggan as President and Board Member. Duggan has an unparalleled track record in driving scale, having taken three SaaS companies - AppDynamics; BladeLogic, and Ascential Software - to unicorn status, and running the EMEA business for BMC. Duggan is considered the author of the playbook for pre-IPO scaleups. His cross-company leadership role will see particular emphasis on recruitment and retention, sales, marketing, and finance.