Koru Raises $8M Series A Round For Its Talent Marketplace

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Koru is a Seattle-based talent marketplace that helps college grads find jobs at tech companies by putting them through an intensive business program. As the company today announced, it has raised an $8 million Series A round led by Maveron, with participation from new investors City Light Capital and Trilogy Equity Partners, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures and First Round. Today’s round brings Koru’s total funding to $12.57 million.

Koru currently offers its programs in Boston, San Francisco and Seattle. Its four-week program focuses on giving graduates the kind of practical skills it believes employees are looking for. Those range from interview prep to social media training, understanding Google Analytics and Excel, to learning about design thinking and how to give effective presentations. Participants also get some real-world experience by working inside companies like LinkedIn, zulily, Porch.com and Amazon (with Zillow being the most recent partner). There, they will work in small groups to solve a specific business challenge.

For those who can’t dedicate a full four weeks to the program, Koru also offers a hybrid online/in-person version.

“There is a clear and massive need for an efficient talent marketplace in today’s job market where employer expectations for entry-level hires are increasing while pathways for graduates are less and less clear,” said Kristen Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Koru, in a statement today. “This new round of funding from our investors allows us to prepare more grads for employment and partner with additional top-notch employers and colleges.”

According to Koru’s own data, 85 percent of its alumni get a job within two to six months of completing its program. Those who still don’t have a full-time job after six months don’t have to pay for the program. The program is pretty pricey, though, starting at $1,749 for early admission to the hybrid program. It looks like Koru will charge closer to $2,849 later this year, though.

When I asked Hamilton about these somewhat confusing prices, she told me that “as an early-stage company, we need to remain nimble and continually learn to match the needs of our customers. […] As a specific example, some of our longer programs during high-demand periods when our target customers have availability, are priced higher. For these programs, we also assume we will grant more scholarship support.”

Koru plans to use its new funding to scale its program and invest in the technology that runs its hybrid programs. “Both employers and college graduates need more scalable solutions to help them identify fit, build relevant skills, and land and perform in jobs with potential,” Hamilton told me.