Multiverse, A Tech-Focused Apprenticeship Firm Raise $130 Million At A $875 Million Value
By – Ashwathy Nair
Multiverse, the tech apprenticeship business that rebranded from White Hat and raised $44 million earlier this year, has brought up another round of funding. On 29th September, the company reported that it had raised $130 million in a Series C investment.
While the deal was being closed, the funding had been rumored in previous weeks. This latest investment was headed by D1 Capital Partners and BOND; Multiverse isn’t saying if there are any more investors in the round. General Catalyst (which led the startup’s recent round), GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), Audacious Ventures, Latitude, SemperVirens, Index Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners are among those who have previously invested in the company. D1 is the organization of Daniel Sundheim, while BOND is the organization of Mary Meeker. Both are well-known names in the world of investment banking and investing.
The company’s new valuation is $875 million, according to the corporation. PitchBook evaluated the valuation at slightly under $164 million at the time of its previous round, while the Financial Times assessed it at $200 million at the same time (Multiverse never confirmed those numbers, though.) In any case, the inference is that it is higher in multiples due to the company’s expansion: Multiverse claims that in the previous year, it has grown fourfold and now employs 5,000 individuals, including both current apprentices and alumni.
The last round of funding was used to enable Multiverse, a London-based firm led by the well-connected Euan Blair, son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and barrister Cherie Booth Blair, to continue growing into the US market. Given the massive setback that is the global COVID-19 health pandemic, it’s possible that the New York office barely opened last month.
The fresh funds will be utilized to continue the company’s expansion, both in its native market and in the United States.
It has around 300 customers, which is the same number it gave me when I covered the last fundraising round in January, with Google, Generation USA, Mixpanel, and Adyen being among the younger ones, and Facebook, Morgan Stanley, and the NHS is among the older ones.
Apprenticeships on the platform presently vary from data science and adtech (“programmatic pioneer”) to administrative as well as operational jobs and include on-site and remote placements in tech firms, financial institutions, and more. Blair told me earlier this year that the prices charged to businesses vary, but are “roughly around the $15,000 mark.” (And, to be clear, the people who apply don’t have to pay anything, and the companies that provide the apprenticeships will pay them as well.)
The job market has altered dramatically in the previous 18 months, owing to a variety of factors including economic downturns, shifting consumer preferences, and the changing nature of work in the midst of a global public health emergency.
All of these have had huge ramifications. How people hunt for employment, how they put themselves up for positions they want, and even how they think about jobs have all been influenced, and businesses have been impacted as well.
Tech jobs are particularly intriguing since many of them, by their very nature, can be done remotely, utilizing the very digital tools that tech professionals design or help maintain.
All of this has created an intriguing window of opportunity for Multiverse in particular, and the basic principle of an apprentice in general, which falls somewhere between a typical recent graduate/less knowledgeable job seeker and someone who is still in school and planning to look for internships to grow professionally.
Blair told me earlier this year, “We want to develop an amazing alternative to university and college.” Even the name reflects the fact that the people it seeks do not often fit into traditional candidate classifications. Blair claims that as a post-18 young adult, one can occupy “many universes,” hence the name “Multiverse” (which has nothing to do with “metaverse,” in case you were wondering). Apprenticeships are usually 1.5 years long.
But, as the startup sector has shown many times, tactical options can be lucrative, but they can also be difficult to open — which is likely one of the reasons Multiverse has received this large round so quickly after its last one. (Another possibility is competition.) LinkedIn, for example, has been rethinking and reinventing itself in the professional development and job-search arenas. Apprenticeships seem like a natural place to start building something.)
Meanwhile, investors appear to feel that Multiverse and job searchers will profit from being smaller and more focused.
In a statement, D1 Capital Partners’ Jeremy Goldstein said, “We believe Multiverse is improving access to pay growth and social mobility for employees from a wide range of backgrounds while delivering tremendous value for companies.” “We are pleased to invest in Multiverse and assist them in scaling their strategy globally.”
The startup has also been attempting to leverage its position in attracting people who may not fit into more traditional job channels in order to increase diversity in the larger talent pool, which has found a willing audience among companies looking to increase diversity and inclusion in their own ranks.
It states that 53 percent of the apprentices it hires are individuals of color, with 36 percent coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
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