Springboard Raises $11 Million to bridge the digital skills gap with job-guaranteed courses

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Bengaluru, December 18, 2019: Springboard, a leading online learning platform for workforce upskilling, headquartered in San Francisco, today announced an $11M in post Series A financing led by Reach Capital, with participation by Pearson Ventures, International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as returning investors Costanoa Ventures, Learn Capital, and Blue Fog Capital.

Springboard also announced today it has partnered with Microsoft to train and place 5,000 students into analytics jobs over the next 3 years, through its new Data Analytics Career Track. The course combines Microsoft’s educational resources and subject matter expertise with Springboard’s proven model of getting students job-ready and placing them into high-demand jobs.

Co-founders Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay started Springboard in 2013 to train professionals for in-demand digital economy careers. Today’s economy demands specialised talent in future technologies such as AI, machine learning, data science, data analytics, and UI/UX but the supply of such skilled talent has not kept up with the demand. In fact, millions of mid-career technology professionals are fast becoming redundant in their jobs, further adding to the issue. Reskilling is the only way technology professionals can future-proof their careers. With 65% of IT jobs expected to undergo a transition in the next five years, NASSCOM predicts that as much as 58% of professionals will need to up-skill themselves.

To help upskill today’s workforce, Springboard pioneered “Job-Guaranteed Career Tracks”, online courses that guarantee students a job upon graduation or they’re completely free. So far over 14,000 learners have enrolled globally, at a fraction of the cost of a university education. Graduates see an average salary increase of $26,000 or at least 20% after the course. Alumni work at over 50% of the Fortune 100, in data science, data analytics, machine learning and UX design roles at companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Boeing, and Visa.

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“Today, the world is changing so rapidly that the traditional model of education where a college degree at the beginning of your career lasts a 40-year career is breaking down. In fact, working professionals now have to significantly upskill or re skill every 3-5 years to advance in their careers. Our industry-designed programs combined with in-depth, 1-on-1 mentorship and career guidance enable people to achieve their full potential.” said Parul Gupta, Co-founder of Springboard. “We are on an ambitious mission to solve the global skills gap and especially excited about the talent and opportunity in India. We’re delighted to have education focused investors like Reach Capital and Pearson Ventures as partners on this journey,” she added.

Springboard students get unlimited, 1-on-1 access to industry mentors and career coaches who provide real-world context, project feedback, and career prep. The fully online, flexible schedule enables students to transition careers without relocating or quitting their jobs. Earlier this year, Springboard launched three programs in India, where the technology workforce is expected to grow 300% by 2024. The company plans to grow its Indian presence with more courses in design and software engineering and continue its expansion into additional geographies in 2020 and beyond.

“Reach Capital supports entrepreneurs at the forefront of innovation in education technology,” said Esteban Sosnik, General Partner at Reach Capital. “We couldn’t be prouder to partner with Gautam and Parul behind their incredible mission of reskilling professionals and opening opportunities to work in digital industries. We have been carefully searching for the right investment into this space and when we met Springboard and saw the incredible results they had on both student satisfaction and job placement, it was an easy decision to lead their round and become partners for years to come.”

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“Microsoft and Springboard share the mission of ensuring students are prepared for the workplace of tomorrow. So this partnership is a natural fit,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Microsoft. “Our new Data Analytics Career Track, developed in partnership with Springboard, is a powerful example of the ways we are working together to help equip the workforce of the future with the necessary skills to succeed in the digital economy. We look forward to extending this partnership and empowering ever more students in the future.” In 2020, both Springboard and Microsoft hope to extend the partnership into additional areas and support more students.

The additional funding and partnership with Microsoft will enable Springboard to continue expanding its offering into new verticals and geographies, enhance career services and employer partnerships, and launch more alumni-focused initiatives.

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Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.