LinkedIn competitor, Handshake, raised $40 million in a Series C round of funding. With more than 14 million users in the US across 700 universities and 300,000 employers, Handshake is a startup platform that connects students who are looking to take their early career steps with employers.
The company is now valued at $275 million, according to PitchBook, which is a huge increase from its value of $108 million after its Series B stage two years ago. With the rise in its value, it could mean that Handshake could give Microsoft-owner LinkedIn some serious competition.
The round of funding was led by EQT Ventures, the investment arm of European holding company EQT. Other participants including investment organizations that have a focus on backing startups in the education sphere, including the Chan Zuckerberg INitiative, Omidyar Network and Reach Capital, True Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and more. Several of these companies are repeat investors, and the total raised by Handshake now reaches $74 million.
Handshake was founded in 2013 by three Michigan Tech students who wanted to democratize opportunity. Handshake supports more than 100+ minority-serving institutions.
“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 the Handshake co-founder and CEO, Garrett Lord. “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.”
With the new funding, Handshake plans to increase its market reach and grow their team from 100 employees to 200.