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As digital transformation efforts accelerate, competition for talent intensifies. Rather than just helping companies find the right people, Microverse tries to broaden the talent pool by attracting and training students from developing countries.
The EdTech startup has built an online coding academy that uses a collaborative learning system and a specially designed curriculum that facilitates teaching for a more diverse range of applicants. The idea is to create a new generation of coders who are not only great programmers, but who are also well suited to a remote working world where geography is less and less of an obstacle.
Microverse founder and CEO Ariel Camus said his goal is to educate 1 million students and help them connect with businesses around the world.
“I realized that remote working was going to be a bridge between talent and opportunity,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly. But that’s good because I can’t imagine a future where we keep wasting so much human potential.
Microverse gave its efforts a boost today when it announced that it had raised $ 12.5 million in venture capital. Northzone led the round, which also included money from previous investors General Catalyst and All Iron Ventures. In addition, a host of business angels from companies such as Google, GitHub and Spotify, as well as Eventbrite co-founders, Kevin and Julia Hartz, also participated.
“If you look at it from the bottom up, it plays into the trend of unleashing the potential of the emerging markets of the best and the brightest to access the digital revolution as we experience it every day,” Kotting said.
Microverse has developed a distributed school which has already shown impressive results. This year, the company predicts that more than 1,000 full-time students will take the program. These students come from 118 countries, and so far 95% of graduates are hired within 6 months.
Demand is also high. The company receives an average of 10,000 applicants each month. About 75% of the students come from Africa and Latin America. Students do not have to pay tuition fees until they find a job.
Camus said the company welcomes students as cohorts who follow a program that emphasizes collaboration and learning from fellow students. The system is designed to teach the skills and mindsets essential for working in distributed teams. But cohort and peer learning also aims to build bonds and networks between students so that they continue to learn from each other long after they complete classes.
“I realized that to work for a remote company, it is not enough to be a great software engineer or a designer,” said Camus. “You also have to be good at remote working, which is this new thing that no one can do well.”
Such lifelong education will be essential for students to continue to progress and be attractive to employers, Camus said.
Microverse will use the latest funding to continue to scale its platform with the goal of tripling its capacity over the next 18 months. The company, which currently has 20 employees, will add 40 more. And Camus said the expansion would also allow him to connect with more business partners to further expand employment potential for students.
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