Masterschool, which describes itself as a “network of tech career-training schools,” today announced that it has raised a $100 million seed funding round (yes, that’s correct — a $100 million seed round). The round was led by Group 11, with participation from Target Global, Pitango Ventures, Dynamic Loop Capital, Sir Ronald Cohen, and a number of additional strategic investors. The company declined to disclose its current valuation.
Like some of its competitors, Masterschool students don’t pay any upfront tuition for the six to twelve months it takes to complete its program. After that, they pay back their tuition, which typically ends up being somewhere between $10,000 to $20,000 by giving 10% of their monthly income to the company. That’s a pretty standard model for coding schools. One twist here is that Masterschool has also partnered with some companies that will pay off the tuition for the students who they hire themselves.
“Though our students pay no upfront tuition, they are investing a huge amount of time in order to build a new career. They trust us to deliver the best training with the best outcomes,” Masterschool co-founder and co-CEO Otni Levi said. “Breaking this trust and not delivering on our commitments is the greatest risk for us. This is what keeps us awake at night and also what motivates us.”
As Masterschool co-founder and co-CEO Miachel Shurp told me, he and Levi launched and bootstrapped the company three years ago. It has since became a profitable business, but the team decided to go out and raise funding now. “We opted to fundraise only when we knew it was time to scale, enabling us to grow the company and achieve our mission,” he said. In addition, Levi noted that the team was looking for the right investors that would align with the company’s long-term mission “to ensure everyone can build inspiring careers.”
The team argues that what sets Masterschool apart from some of its competitors is that it’s a network of schools. So instead of enrolling in a traditional class, they select a school, which is typically run by an experienced practitioner, and then follow that school’s program. The programs themselves are 100% online and the team tells me that students should expect to spend between 25 to 40 hours per week on live lectures, assignments, one-on-one sessions, class meetings and more.
“There are currently over 1 million open IT jobs in just the US. Every school and bootcamp addressing this shortage is serving an important role,” said Shurp. “That being said, we need way more schools to fill this gap. That’s where Masterschool comes into play. We’re building a network of career training schools and offering industry leaders the ability to build and run their schools on our platform. In the coming years, we’ll launch thousands of career-training schools, enabling millions of students to build the career they want.”