This edtech startup founded by former British PM Tony Blair’s son secures €36M funding to fuel apprenticeship

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Talents are everywhere, but the opportunities are often not! For numerous students finding a job opportunity or internship depends on the on-campus career counsellors. Also, there’s a belief that university, supplemented by corporate training, is the only route to a successful career. 

Democratising access to best careers

And this UK edtech startup – Multiverse (formerly WhiteHat), is here to break that by democratising access to the best careers. According to the company, there are almost 800,000 young people aged 16-24 in the UK who are not in employment, education, or training. At this young age, this can have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health.

Multiverse matches non-graduate talent with apprenticeship opportunities at some of the exciting UK companies in a wide range of qualifications in leadership, digital, and technology. 

Apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring, and leadership programmes. 

“We believe apprenticeships should be prioritised as a way of empowering young people to build great careers, without first having to pursue three years of university education and absorb increasing levels of debt,” claims the company.

Raised €36M funding

In a recent development, the edtech startup has secured a $44M (approx €36M) Series B funding round led by General Catalyst, also features GV (Google Ventures), and includes Audacious Ventures, Latitude, and SemperVirens. 

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Other investors like Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, who contributed to a $16M (approx €13M) Series A investment last year, also took part in the round. 

With the funding, the edtech company will expand across the UK, with plans to create two hundred jobs in 2021, and will launch in New York this month.

Euan Blair, founder, and CEO of Multiverse says: “For too long there’s been a belief that university, 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 across society.”

“We’re building an outstanding alternative to both the university system, and to a corporate training model that rarely delivers long-term impact and genuine results. There are many different ways for people to be successful. We’re empowering people from diverse communities to access the very best opportunities through apprenticeships as they embark on a successful and fulfilling career. Through 2020, despite COVID-19, we added some of the world’s best companies as new clients and tripled our community of apprentices – in 2021 we’re ready to spread these opportunities even further,” he adds. 

Recent hires

In addition to the Series B funding, Multiverse has appointed Jeremy Duggan as President and Board Member. 

According to the edtech company, Duggan has extensive experience in driving scale, having taken three SaaS companies – AppDynamics; BladeLogic, and Ascential Software – to unicorn status, and running the EMEA business for BMC.  

Other recent leaders to join the business include Lisa Barrett, VP of Learning, Clare Sutcliffe MBE, VP, Community, Sophie Ruddock, VP North America, and Emma Van Dijkum joins as VP of Product. 

Focussed on three areas

Founded by Euan Blair (former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s eldest son) and Sophie Adelman, the edtech company focuses on three primary areas:  

1) measuring potential beyond academics, 2) delivering job-focused training via applied learning programs, 3) helping diverse groups of young people build social capital and strong networks. 

As per the company claims, 55 per cent of apprentices placed by Multiverse are people of colour, 22 per cent are black, and 53 per cent are women, including in tech roles. Around 33 per cent have received free school meals, to date. 

At present, in Europe, Multiverse has more than 300 clients, including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Fujitsu, Capita, Kantar, Skanska, Citi, and Microsoft.

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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