Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Springboard Secures $31M in Series B Funding Led by Telstra Ventures
Springboard, a mentor-guided online learning platform that prepares people for in-demand careers, announced today it has raised $31 million in Series B funding, bringing its total capital raised to more than $50 million. This round was led by new investor Telstra Ventures, with participation from Vulcan Capital and SJF Ventures, and returning investors Costanoa Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital, and Learn Capital.
Springboard launched India as its first geography outside the USA in 2019 and has placed its learners in Fortune 500 and world-renowned companies such as Samsung, Salesforce, Visa, LinkedIn, Cisco. The latest round of capital will enable Springboard to double down on student employability in response to the current job market in India and globally, by creating new hiring-focused products and strengthening employer partnerships to help graduates land their dream careers.
Since inception, Springboard’s programs were designed to be entirely online, yet heavily supported by human interactions with mentors and a network of career experts. The new capital infusion will help Springboard further support job-seeking graduates by building several innovative tools for India and global markets:
The Hireability Forecaster, which provides early indications of student success and potential employability roadblocks by combining the power of Springboard’s predictive technology and the insights from its global community of almost 1,000 industry mentors. With 80% of Springboard mentors indicating they would hire their mentee, mentors and coaches will have the ability to indicate student achievement and intervene to course correct if students fall behind.
Springboard Introductions, which offers Springboard students personalized, targeted introductions and job referrals from its community of over 13,000 mentors, alumni, fellow students, and employer partners that collectively represent over 50% of the Fortune 500 across 108 countries. Candidates who are internally referred are 15 times more likely to be hired than those who apply on a job board.
Student-Job Fit Recommender, an AI-driven job matching tool, which recommends open roles at Springboard’s employer partners that match each student's unique background and skill set.
"India is witnessing one of its toughest challenges owing to the recent job losses that have impacted a large section of the workforce. It is therefore imperative for displaced workers to make the difficult transition into new, in-demand careers,” said Parul Gupta, Co-founder, Springboard. “Our remote-first, mentor-guided model is uniquely positioned to serve not only these individuals, but also universities and employers who need help navigating today's new economic reality. We're delighted to partner with a great group of investors, as we continue on our mission to transform over one million lives by 2030."
“Technology used to be a niche area but that’s no longer the case. As more and more companies are built on tech, the need to understand concepts like Data Science, AI, ML, UI/UX has become more homogenous. For learning to be meaningful, it needs to encompass state-of-the-art curriculum with real-world projects as well as mentorship and that is what Springboard stands for. With this funding we are in a good position to build on our strengths to provide in-demand job skills and holistic support at every step,” said Vivek Kumar, Managing Director, Springboard.
“The education sector is facing a tectonic shift. As enterprises and countries alike seek more and better talent with digital skill sets, the technology training market is set to explode,” said Albert Bielinko, Principal, at Telstra Ventures. "We invested in Springboard because the strong educational and job placement outcomes achieved by its students are a big differentiator. Springboard's highly personalised approach is built with the online learner in mind first, not as an afterthought, and offers a life-changing value proposition for Springboard's graduates.”
Started by co-founders Gautam Tambay and Parul Gupta in 2013, Springboard pioneered a learning model that has enabled thousands of successful career transitions into the most in-demand technology fields via its job-guaranteed programs that are taught entirely online. Unlike most online learning companies that stop at teaching technical skills, Springboard focuses on employability -- 94% of eligible graduates secure a job within a year, earning an average salary increase of $26,000. Springboard’s unique strength is its remote-first yet human-centric approach that matches each student 1:1 with a personalized mentor—an industry professional working in their chosen field—who provides weekly feedback to keep students motivated and accountable. This approach has resulted in 330% student enrollment growth from June 2019 to June 2020.
Furthering its commitment to student employability, Springboard is expanding its career services. It has tripled the number of virtual apprenticeship opportunities to build portfolio-worthy content and provide real-world work experience. The career services team has grown its career coaching capacity by 4x to provide more access to office hours, mock interviews, and a team of placement experts assigned to each student. To provide additional support during the job search, Springboard has extended its professional mentorship after program completion.
In the coming months, Springboard plans to grow its industry-leading course offerings outside the high-tech industry to include additional skills gap disciplines. The company will also look to deepen its partnerships with universities and employers, enabling them to adapt to evolving reskilling needs in a post-pandemic economy.