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Tony Blair’s son startup Multiverse bags £32.3M, UK’s largest ever edtech funding round

Image credits: Multiverse

Multiverse (previously WhiteHat), an edtech startup that’s focused on high-quality education and training through a unique apprenticeship model has secured a $44 million (approx £32.3 million) in Series B funding round. 

The round was led by General Catalyst, also features GV (Google Ventures), and includes Audacious Ventures, Latitude, and SemperVirens. 

Other investors like Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, also took part in the round. 

With this funding, Multiverse will expand across the UK, with plans to create two hundred jobs in 2021, and will launch in New York this month.

Offers one-to-one coaching

Founded by Euan Blair (former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s eldest son), and Sophie Adelman, Multiverse matches talented individuals with careers and delivers world-class training in a wide range of qualifications in leadership, digital, and technology. 

Apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring, and leadership programmes. 

The company was known until now as ‘WhiteHat’ has tripled the number of apprentices it trains to more than 2,000, last year. 

Focus on three primary areas

Notably, the company focuses on three primary areas: 

  • measuring potential beyond academics 
  • delivering job-focused training via applied learning programs
  • helping diverse groups of young people build social capital and strong networks 

As per the company’s claims, 55% of apprentices placed by Multiverse are people of colour. 22% are black and 53% are women, including in tech roles. 33% have received free school meals.  

In Europe, the firm has more than 300 clients including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Fujitsu, Capita, Kantar, Skanska, Citi, and Microsoft. 

Appointed new President and Board Member

Additionally, Multiverse has appointed Jeremy Duggan as President and Board Member. 

Duggan has a track record in driving scale, having taken three SaaS companies – AppDynamics; BladeLogic, and Ascential Software – to unicorn status, and running the EMEA business for BMC. 

Jeremy Duggan, President and board member at Multiverse, said: “I joined Multiverse because the real joy of building a successful business comes from transforming the careers of the people you hire through consistent development and an inspiring culture. At Multiverse, we have the goal to not only do that, but also to help thousands of talented people to transform their lives professionally, and in doing so help to transform the businesses of our clients. More than any other tech company today, Multiverse is driving incredible growth and scale, but in a way that also delivers real value to society by generating wonderful opportunities for a new and diverse generation.”

Other recent leaders to join the business include:  

  • Lisa Barrett, VP of Learning, Innovation, and Operation 
  • Clare Sutcliffe MBE, VP, Community
  • Sophie Ruddock, VP North America 
  • Emma Van Dijkum, VP of Product. 

Offering apprenticeship to wider group 

In the last year, Multiverse has pioneered innovative approaches to outreach to spread apprenticeship opportunities to a wider group of young people. Apprentice Nation, delivered in partnership with RockCorps and BT, has seen chart-topping artists like Tinie Tempah, Krept & Konan, and Ms. Banks take part in webinars and perform at free concerts for those who sign up for employability training. 

Meanwhile, a series of free boot camps called the Tech Talent Accelerator, delivered in partnership with Generation UK, will see 100 young people who face barriers to employment receiving access to the coding and data skills needed to launch a career in those areas.  

Euan Blair, founder and CEO of Multiverse said: “For too long there’s been a belief that university, supplemented by sporadic corporate training, is the only route to success. This model is fundamentally broken – too often failing to give people the skills they need and not spreading opportunity fairly across society. There are many different ways for people to be successful and we’re empowering people from diverse communities to access the very best opportunities through apprenticeships as they embark on a successful and fulfilling career.” 

“Through 2020, despite COVID-19, we added some of the world’s best companies as new clients and tripled our community of apprentices – in 2021 we’re ready to spread these opportunities even further.”

 Joel Cutler, managing director and co-founder of General Catalyst, said: “A four-year degree should not be a prerequisite to reaching your fullest professional potential. Euan and his team at Multiverse are building a path for ambitious people to land quality, career-enhancing jobs at some of the most recognizable companies in the world.”

John W. Thompson, Chairman of Microsoft and angel investor in Multiverse, said: We’re at an inflection point where every enterprise company is having to become a tech firm, generating a huge demand for skills in digital, data, and software. This gives us a chance to find better ways to train people, and change the current imbalance of who gets access to great careers.”