These are the investments and acquisitions related to part eight of my year-in-review series – “Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs.”

One of the notable shifts in the stories that investors seemed to be telling in 2017: it’s not enough to invest in training startups; you have to invest in hiring startups too. (Really, you can see how they’re committed to monetizing every element of the economy – from education to employment.)

But I confess: I didn’t pick up on this trend ’til mid-way through the year, so I’m not sure if I have all the companies that raised money for this in my calculations. Here’s what I got:

Job Recruitment and Job Placement Investments in 2017

  • Job placement startup WayUp raised $18.5 million in March from Trinity Ventures, Axel Springer, BoxGroup, CAA Ventures, Female Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Index Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, OurCrowd-GCai, and SV Angel. The company has raised $27.4 million total
  • BridgeU raised $5.3 million in October from Octopus Ventures, Downing Ventures, and Fresco Capital for its “career guidance” product. It’s raised $8.2 million total
  • Side raised $5.7 million in July from Xavier Niel, Anglae Ventures, Antoine Martin, Connect Ventures, Fly Ventures, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, and TheFamily for a job placement service for college students – “short term jobs”
  • EquitySim raised $3.1 million in September from 500 Startups, Peak Ventures, and University Ventures for its job recruitment product
  • Career development company Learnerbly raised $2.09 million in July from Frontline Ventures, Claire Davenport, Future Planet Capital, Jason Stockwood, London Co-Investment Fund, Playfair Capital, Renaud Visage, R Ventures, and Stephan Thomas
  • Coaching and job placement startup Paragon One raised $1.9 million in May from Y Combinator, Foundation Capital, Learn Capital, University Ventures, Li Yuan Ventures, Altair Ventures, Jimmy Lai, and Jeff Xiong
  • Viridis Learning raised an undisclosed amount of money in June from Salesforce Ventures and Thayer Ventures for its job placement product. It’s raised $4 million in addition to this mystery round of funding

Job Placement Company Acquisitions in 2017

  • Interfolio acquired Data 180 in January
  • WayUp acquired LookSharp in February
  • Frontline Education acquired Teachers-Teachers in April. Frontline Education also acquired School Improvement Network in July
  • AcademixDirect acquired Pathsource in July
  • The VC firm University Ventures acquired Gradstaff in July

Closures in 2017

It wasn't the closing of a company, but Udacity did shut down, its freelance hiring platform this year.

Audrey Watters


Who's Funding Education Technology?

A Hack Education Project

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