Multiverse, the professional apprenticeship start-up founded by Euan Blair, has hit a valuation of $1.7bn (£1.3bn) after completing a $220m (£175m) series D funding round.
The round – co-led by StepStone Group and returning investors Lightspeed and General Catalyst – doubles the London-based firm’s valuation from just eight months ago, and will be used in part to fund US expansion.
Blair, who won City A.M.s’ coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award earlier this year, said “there has never been a more pressing time to create an alternative to university education that is equitable and inclusive and there is an incredible opportunity before us to change the status quo with apprenticeships.
“This funding will help us bring more people without degrees or in need of re-skilling into tech careers and ultimately create a more diverse group of future leaders,” he said.
Two thirds of Americans do not have a college degree despite two-thirds of US jobs requiring that qualification. Multiverse pairs individuals with firms, offering paid apprenticeships with on the job training lasting from 12 to 15 months.
Blair, the son of former Prime Minister Tony, also announced that Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon would join the board.
Founders Circle Capital and existing investors Audacious Ventures, BOND, D1 Capital Partners, G and Index Ventures also participated in the round.
Multiverse has so far reached over 8,000 apprentices globally, with more than 90 per cent remaining with their employer post-apprenticeship.