Euan Blair’s education start-up valued at $200m
An education start-up co-founded by Euan Blair, son of the former British prime minister Tony Blair, has raised $44m from investors, valuing the business at about $200m including the new money.
Multiverse, previously known as White Hat, said it provides young people with an alternative to university by matchmaking them with apprenticeships at companies and providing coaching and training.
Its Series B round was led by General Catalyst, and included Google Ventures, Audacious Ventures, Latitude and SemperVirens, as well as Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, both of which contributed to Multiverse’s previous $16m fundraising last year.
It now plans to open a New York office and hire a further 200 staff to expand.
Mr Blair, 37, Multiverse chief executive, was a child when his father was elected as Britain’s prime minister, promising that his three priorities would be “education, education, education” and setting a target that 50 per cent of school leavers should go on to university.
But Mr Blair said the model of going to university and then receiving sporadic corporate training was “fundamentally broken” and often fails “to give people the skills they need”.
His start-up has been boosted by the apprenticeship levy in the UK, which forces large companies to set aside money for on-the-job training. Multiverse said it has more than 300 clients in Europe, including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, KPMG and Skanska, and last year alone tripled the number of apprentices it trains to more than 2,000.
Joel Cutler, managing director and co-founder of General Catalyst, said: “Euan and his team at Multiverse are building a path for ambitious people to land quality, career-enhancing jobs at some of the most recognisable companies in the world.
“They’ve achieved so much already in the UK and we’re looking forward to partnering with them as they expand their mission stateside.”
This article has been amended since publication to note that Tony Blair made education a core part of his manifesto for election as prime minister.