Microverse Remote Coding School Doubles Down on Assessment with Series A Expansion
Barcelona-based distance coding school Microverse today announces a $4 million expansion to its $12.5 million Series A, doubling the company’s valuation. The extension comes from existing investors Northzone, General Catalyst and All iron companieswith new investor True Equity joining the round.
What does Microverse do?
Microverse is a coding school that wants to help students around the world succeed in remote and distributed classrooms.
It claims to be the only school in the world to offer a revenue sharing agreement in all the countries it operates in, which means that students pay nothing upfront for tuition and only start paying back fees until once they have found a job.
Unlike many coding schools, Microverse uses a peer-to-peer learning model, where students learn from “mentors” who are further along in the course.
Speaking to Sifted when the company launched its Series A in June 2021, founder Ariel Camus argued that this model makes lessons scalable as there is no need for dedicated teachers – but admitted that could create quality control issues.
“In a peer-to-peer experience, the quality of the experience is determined by the quality of the peers,” he said. “That’s what makes peer-to-peer so difficult and why no one else does it.”
Microverse focuses its courses on students from developing countries and claims that 90% of students find remote employment within six months of graduation, with jobs at companies like Deloitte, HSBC and Microsoft.
The startup says that last year the number of applicants to its program grew from 10,000 to 30,000 each month. The fresh capital will be used to double its team to meet student demand.
Who invested in Microverse
- Northzone – London-based VC who has invested in big names like Spotify, Klarna and Kahoot!.
- General Catalyst — American company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has invested in Airbnb, Bloom & Wild and Deliveroo.
- All Iron Ventures — A Bilbao-based fund that has been investing in startups such as Lingokids, paack and Spotahome since its launch in 2020.
- True Equity – a New Jersey-based private equity and venture capital firm that invests in education technology companies such as Beam and Swing Education.
- Angel investors including former Github COO Erica Brescia and Eventbrite co-founders Kevin and Julia Hartz.
The state of the coding school market
- There is no shortage of online courses for students who want to learn to code. Some of the more established ones, like Ironhack and LeWagon, now also offer a “learn now, pay later” model. through partnershipscreating competition for newcomers like Microverse.
- But where Microverse specializes — helping students in developing countries land remote jobs — looks set to be a big area for growth. A 2022 report of the technology services platform Commit found that companies hiring “offshore” developers will increase by 70% next year, because there is still a global shortage of tech talent.
The taking of sieved
Microverse certainly seems to have a lofty goal of trying to upskill workers in developing countries and place them in well-paying tech jobs. But, while attitudes are slowly changing, there are still major cultural barriers and prejudices that hinder job seekers who apply for positions from supposedly hard-to-reach places.
It also clashes with the large number of free resources available online, which may seem more appealing than a course you end up paying for.
That said, Microverse’s 90% job application success rate, along with growing demand for its courses, shows that students are finding real value in the program. The big challenge now will be whether it can maintain the quality of its peer-to-peer learning model as it attempts to scale rapidly.
Tim Smith is Sifted Iberia’s correspondent. He tweets from @timmpsmith
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