Springboard gets Series B cheques from Australian VC, Microsoft co-founder’s fund
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Education-technology platform Springboard, which provides career upskilling services to professionals, said on Wednesday it has raised $31 million (about Rs 232 crore) in a Series B funding round.

Australian venture capital firm Telstra Ventures led the round. Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen; and US-based SJF Ventures were the other new investors in the round.

Existing investors Costanoa Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital and Learn Capital also took part in this round.

San Francisco- and Bengaluru-based Springboard said in a statement the capital infusion takes the total amount it has secured so far to more than $50 million.

Springboard, operated by SlideRule Labs Inc., was founded by Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay in 2013. It operates on a one-on-one model, where students that are accepted for its learning cohorts are partnered with a mentor who guides them through the course, among other things.

The company said it will use the capital raised in the Series B round to create new hiring-focussed products as well as strengthening employer partnerships to help graduates. Some of these tools include a ‘Hireability Forecaster’; a Student-Job Fit Recommender, an artificial intelligence-driven tool; and Springboard Introductions, which will offer users personalised and targeted introductions and referrals.

“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,” Telstra Ventures principal Albert Bielinko said.

Springboard co-founder Gupta said that the company’s platform was positioned to serve individuals who would need to transition to in-demand career paths, as well as universities and employers seeking to upskill their cohorts.

The startup had raised $11 million in a post-Series A round in December last year. That round was led by Reach Capital, with Pearson, IFC, Costanoa, Learn Capital and Blue Fog Capital also participating.

In December 2017, the ed-tech startup raised $9.5 million in a Series A funding round led by US-based early-stage venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures, with Learn Capital and Appdynamics founder Jyoti Bansal taking part. In 2015, Springboard had raised $1.7 million from a clutch of investors including Blue Fog Capital.

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