Multiverse Raises $220M to Expand Professional Apprenticeships, an Outstanding Alternative to College and Corporate Training

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Multiverse has closed a $220 million Series D funding round at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion, doubling its valuation from eight months ago. The latest round was co-led by StepStone Group, and returning investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst. The funding will be used to accelerate US expansion and broaden the range of learning programs, creating more routes to career progression for apprentices and helping organizations close digital skills gaps across their workforce.

Founders Circle Capital and existing investors Audacious Ventures, BOND, D1 Capital Partners, GV and Index Ventures also participated in the round, bringing total funding to over $400 million.

Tackling the Toughest Workforce Challenges with Apprenticeships

Two thirds of Americans do not have a college degree despite 65% of jobs requiring some college or a bachelor’s degree, a practice that disproportionately excludes Black and Hispanic Americans. At the same time, all companies face challenges in hiring and retaining tech talent. Apprenticeships provide an alternative route to train and hire workers, opening access to tech careers and teaching workers skills for the jobs of the modern, digital economy.

“Mandating college degrees, and making admissions officers the gatekeepers for great careers, means leaving out thousands of talented individuals,” said Euan Blair, CEO and founder of Multiverse. “There has never been a more pressing time to create an alternative to university education that is equitable and inclusive, and there is an incredible opportunity before us to change the status quo with apprenticeships. This funding will help us bring more people without degrees or in need of re-skilling into tech careers and ultimately create a more diverse group of future leaders.”

Multiverse apprenticeships offer tuition-free, paid programs in areas including Software Engineering, Digital Marketing and Data Analytics that typically last 12-15 months. With a unique combination of on-the-job training and education, professional apprenticeships help individuals jump start a career or enter an entirely new field while earning a competitive salary.

Companies that introduce apprenticeship programs aim to address the challenges associated with short supply of digital skills. While creating more opportunities for those without degrees, these companies often see an increase in employee productivity and engagement, higher retention rates and decreases in hiring costs. Because of this, 60% of Multiverse partners have expanded within 6 months of launching an apprenticeship program.

“The Multiverse journey has been characterized not only by rapid growth, but also by creating a real and actionable solution to the challenges of diversity in the workplace,” said Jeremy Duggan, President and Board Member at Multiverse. “One of the things that sets Multiverse apart is the impact our programs have on the aspirations and skills of our apprentices and the subsequent value they provide to organizations that employ them. Going forward it’s important for us to ensure apprenticeships are available to anyone who can benefit from them, and to progress the crucial conversation around diversity in the workplace.”

The Multiverse community has now reached over 8,000 apprentices globally. Of the professional apprentices that Multiverse places globally, 56% are people of color, more than half are women and 34% come from economically under-served communities.

The company’s mission is to create a diverse group of future leaders and particular emphasis is placed on tracking apprentice outcomes that correlate with long-term success. As a result, 68% of all Multiverse apprentices are promoted during or at the end of their programs and over 90% remain with their employer post-apprenticeship.

Closing a Year of Unprecedented Growth

Multiverse has grown nine times in two years. The company currently trains professional apprentices with over 500 organizations globally, including Cisco, Verizon, Visa and Box in the US. Underpinning its growth, programs like Software Engineering have seen a 260% growth in enrollment year over year and have a completion rate of over 85%. Multiverse has also made particular headwinds in the Financial Services industry, growing the number of partners by 105% over the past year.

“Apprenticeships can help thousands of companies better train workers for the jobs needed to thrive in the age of digital transformation,“ said Hunter Somerville, Partner at StepStone Group. “Multiverse has a demonstrated track record of success, building an unparalleled global platform to find, train and develop talent.”

Appointing Youngme Moon to the Multiverse Board of Directors

Effective immediately, Youngme Moon, Donald K David Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, will join Multiverse’s Board of Directors. Professor Moon brings decades of experience to her role at Multiverse, and serves on the boards of businesses including Mastercard, Unilever, Warby Parker and Sweetgreen.

“Widening access to great careers is one of the most urgent issues of our time, and essential to solving both the war for talent, and the inequities of the current labor market,” said Professor Moon. “Many EdTech innovations have come and gone but Multiverse’s approach seeks to build a different system entirely. I’m truly excited about the potential of tech apprenticeships, and the system we can build through them.”

About Multiverse

Multiverse is a tech startup on a mission to create a diverse group of future leaders by building an outstanding alternative to university and corporate training. They offer apprenticeships to a diverse pool of young adults and those looking to reskill. Multiverse works with over 500 businesses, helping them embrace digital transformation, close skills gaps and develop a diverse talent pipeline. Apprentices benefit from individualized coaching, applied learning, and a community of social, networking and leadership opportunities. Founded in the UK in 2016, Multiverse launched in the US in January 2021.

In this post: Multiverse, Danny Rimer, Hannah Seal

Published — June 8, 2022