Springboard, An online education platform that offers continuing education and retraining courses for people who want to learn roles in demand has raised $ 31 million in a new round of funding to expand to more regions.
The Series B financing round for the San Francisco-based startup was led by investment firm Telstra Ventures . Vulcan Capital and SJF Ventures as well as existing investors Costanoa Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 startups, Blue Fog Capital and Learn Capital also took part in the round, said the seven-year-old startup, which has raised more than $ 50 million to date.
Springboard offers a series of six- and nine-month courses on data science, artificial intelligence, design, coding, analytics, and other related topics to help students and those already employed find better jobs.
The startup, which expanded to India last year, also connects students with mentors – more than 50% of whom work in Fortune 500 companies – to help them make better decisions, said Vivek Kumar, general manager at Springboard, in an interview with theinformationsuperhighway.
Startups offering continuing education courses have grown in importance in recent years as companies around the world complain that they are not happy with a large proportion of the students who apply to them.
In many markets, such as India, one of the global hubs for technology consulting firms, spending several months retraining their new employees has become an everyday sight for several large IT giants. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has cut tens of thousands of additional jobs.
“India faces one of its greatest challenges due to the recent job loss that has affected a large portion of the workforce. It is essential for displaced people to make the difficult transition to new, sought-after careers, ”said Parul Gupta, co-founder of Springboard, in a statement.
In order for the courses to reach more students, Springboard has adjusted the price points of its offer for each region. A nine-month course, for example, sold in the United States for around $ 7,500, costs $ 3,300 in India, Kumar said.
The startup, which also works with financial partners to enable students to pay for the course in installments and without interest, reimburses tuition fees to those who cannot secure a better job, Kumar said.
This brings us to one of Springboard's greatest milestones: less than 0.02% of students have ever applied for a refund. Kumar said that most students who sign up for a course on his platform have a job that earns them at least 25% more and even 100% more. About 94% of eligible students will get a job within six months, the startup said.
Springboard is already serving students in more than 80 countries, but plans to officially launch in other locations outside of the United States and India. It is also planned to use the fresh capital to expand the range of courses and to deepen the partnership with universities and employers.