Feb 28 (Reuters) – Bitwise Industries, a tech services provider that trains workers in underrepresented communities, raises $80 million in funding round led by existing investors Kapor Center and Motley Fool it did, the company told Reuters.
The latest investment brings the tech hub’s creator’s valuation to more than $600 million, up from a valuation of $200 million in early 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GS.N) and Citibank (CN) also participated in the round, raising a total of $180 million.
Founded in Fresno, California by Irma Olguin Jr and Jake Soberal, Bitwise invests in technology real estate, operates apprenticeship programs for marginalized communities, and sells managed technology services to governments and traditional businesses.
Launched in 2013, it has expanded its training hubs to 10 cities across the US, including Toledo, Ohio and Bakersfield, California, with plans to expand to Chicago’s South Side this year.
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The company says it has helped train more than 10,000 individuals, 80% of whom are in technical positions. The company says half of its apprentices are women and about 20% are black.
The startup will double its revenue in 2022, according to Soberal, co-CEO of the company. He sees Bitwise as a value-added consulting firm similar to Accenture, with the ability to train its own talent pool. The company reportedly made $40 million in revenue in 2020.
Supported by government workforce upskilling funding and technology company funding, this training program typically takes about 12-18 months to complete.
Soberal says he hasn’t seen much of an impact from recent layoffs at big tech companies and venture-backed startups.
“Most of our apprentices don’t work at Google, Facebook, Amazon…they end up in technical roles in county education departments, agribusinesses, manufacturers. nationwide work.”
Reported by Crystal Fu, New York.Edited by Rashmi Aich
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