SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Handshake, the leading career network for U.S. college students, announced today that it has closed a $40 million Series C funding round led by the EQT Ventures fund ("EQT Ventures"), a European multi-stage VC fund. This funding round also includes participation from leading social impact investors including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative ("CZI"), Omidyar Network, and Reach Capital, among others. In conjunction with the funding, Alastair Mitchell of EQT Ventures is joining Handshake's Board of Directors. Representatives from CZI, Omidyar Network, Reach Capital and others will be joining a newly formed Impact Advisory Board to advise the company on better measuring and growing its social impact. The Series C brings Handshake's total funding to $74 million, which also includes participation from previous investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, True Ventures, and Lightspeed Ventures.
Founded in 2013 by three Michigan Tech students with the goal of democratizing opportunity, Handshake's partnership with colleges and universities is dramatically increasing the access to jobs and internships for students and young alumni nationwide. The Handshake network launched with five initial partner schools and, today, Handshake is proud to announce that the community now includes 700 colleges and universities, 14 million students and young alumni and 300,000 employers - including 100% of the Fortune 500. The Handshake community proudly supports more than 100+ minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions across the country.
"Our Handshake community is tackling the so-called 'pipeline problem' head on. Skilled students are on every campus in every corner of the country and we're proud to help employers discover, recruit and hire up-and-coming talent from all backgrounds," said Garrett Lord, Handshake Co-Founder and CEO. "Students around the world experience the same inequality in the recruiting process, so we're excited to partner with Alastair Mitchell and EQT Ventures to expand our impact beyond the United States."
"Handshake is the leading, fastest-growing early-career recruitment platform in the US for students and employers," said Alastair Mitchell, Partner at EQT Ventures. "We're delighted to join forces with Garrett and the Handshake team on their journey, helping them to expand their footprint across North America and into new markets internationally with both financial and operational support."
In this next phase of growth, Handshake plans to advance its product roadmap to continue to broaden the capabilities for each of the three-sided marketplace for students, universities, and employers. Today, Handshake offers a suite of Premium employer features in the newly-launched Talent Engagement Suite, empowering employers to source, engage, and hire the right students for their team, from every background, in every corner of the country. Over the next year, Team Handshake plans to double, from 100 to 200 employees, with a focus on product, engineering and design efforts, with an emphasis on data and recommendations expertise.
As part of today's announcement, Handshake is pleased to welcome Christine Y. Cruzvergara, who currently serves as Associate Provost and Executive Director for Career Education at Wellesley College, to the leadership team as Vice President of Higher Education and Student Success. In this role, she will lead Handshake's partnerships efforts with the higher education community to ensure greater and more equitable student career success.
"CZI is thrilled to support Handshake as it connects talented students to career opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential," said Vivian Wu, Managing Partner of Ventures at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. "Handshake's approach - expanding access, building student community and support, and showcasing accomplishments beyond college and degree - produces real results, especially for young people from communities that haven't had access to high quality job and life opportunities."
According to a 2018 Strada-Burning Glass Study, more than 43% of graduates are underemployed in their first job out of college, putting them economically behind their peers. Of those who graduate underemployed, 50% remain underemployed 10 years after graduation. Through the expansion of a rich, engaging community of students, alumni, employers and universities, including the launch of Reviews and Q&A, Handshake is working to ensure that all students - regardless of background, major, or connections - have access to the tools and information they need to launch a strong career from the very beginning.
To learn more about how Handshake is democratizing opportunities for students and connecting employers to up-and-coming talent, visit joinhandshake.com.
Handshake is the leading career network for college students in America. Today, the Handshake community includes 14 million students and young alumni at more than 700 universities - including 100+ Minority Serving Institutions. We connect up-and-coming talent across all 50 states with the 300,000+ employers recruiting on Handshake - from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of local mom and pop shops, nonprofits, startups, and more. Handshake is democratizing opportunity and ensuring college students have the support they need to kick-off a great career - regardless of where they go to school, what they're majoring in, or who they know.
Handshake has raised a total of $74 million dollars with support from EQT Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, True Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. In addition, Handshake has received support from social impact investors, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network, Reach Capital, among others.
EQT Ventures is a European VC fund with commitments of just over €566 million. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fuelled by some of Europe's most experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with capital and hands on support. EQT Ventures is part of EQT, a leading investment firm with approximately €50 billion in raised capital across 27 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees.