Springboard, a mentor-guided online learning platform that prepares people for in-demand careers, has announced it has raised $31 million in Series B funding, bringing its total capital raised to more than $50 million.
The round was led by new investor Telstra Ventures, with participation from Vulcan Capital and SJF Ventures, and returning investors Costana Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital, and Learn Capital, according to a press release from the company.
Founded by Gautam Tambay and Parul Gupta in 2013, Springboard offers mentor-guided online programs that empower students to shape their future. It believes that each student is unique and needs learning experience designed to fit their life’s space, supported by advisors and mentors. The company is on a mission to transform one million lives by 2030. Springboard has so far helped more than 20,000 students across 100+ countries to advance their careers.
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, etc.
Commenting on the latest development, Parul Gupta, Co-founder, Springboard, said in a statement,
"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. 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."
Unlike most online learning companies that stop at teaching technical skills, Springboard focuses on employability. The company claims 94% of eligible graduates secure a job within a year, earning an average salary increase of $26,000. Springboard’s unique strength lies in its remote-first yet human-centric approach that matches each student 1:1 with a personalized mentor who provides weekly feedback to keep students motivated and accountable. The company claims this approach has resulted in 330% student enrollment growth from June 2019 to June 2020.
Speaking about the company, Vivek Kumar, Managing Director, Springboard, said,
“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.”
According to the company’s press statement, 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.
Albert Bielinko, Principal at Telstra Ventures, commented on the funding,
“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. 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.”
Springboard is expanding its career services and has tripled the number of virtual apprenticeship opportunities to build portfolio-worthy content and provide real-world work experience. To provide additional support during the job search, Springboard has also 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.
Springboard has last raised $11 million in December 2019 in post Series A financing round led by private equity firm Reach Capital, with participation from Pearson Ventures, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Costanoa Ventures, Learn Capital, and Blue Fog Capital.