Codementor (incorporated as Peer Idea Inc.) has raised $1.6 million in seed funding to grow its online education business into a marketplace for elite freelance developers who are among the top-rated mentors on its site.
Based in Mountain View with a development office in Taiwan, Codementor is a graduate of Techstars in Seattle. WI Harper led the seed round in Codementor, which had previously raised $1.2 million in early-stage funding from Techstars, 500 Startups and individual angel investors.
Codementor founder and CEO Weiting Liu said, “When we started out we were more like a coding bootcamp, but we realized we could be this layer of on-demand mentorship that can be a missing puzzle piece that fits alongside all other free and paid learning resources out there.”
A partner with WI Harper and investor in Codementor, Yvonne Chen said in this next stage, Codementor should focus on enhancing its matching algorithms, which enable the platform to automatically identify available, qualified engineers and pair them with programmers seeking help, or companies seeking to engage them for a freelance project.
“Liquidity is crucial for them to be successful,” Chen said. “Investing resources to shorten the expected wait time to hire a developer across every single possible technology stack; this can potentially be a game changer to how companies work with engineering talent in 10 years.
Among its users, the company counts 150,000 developers who have sought programming help, and 5,000 vetted developer-mentors, each expert in different programming languages.
Developers go through a video interview and peer-review process before they are cleared to become mentors. Only the top 2 percent of mentors, as rated by other developers, are matched to freelance opportunities on Codementor.
The company competes with a wide range of freelance marketplaces and jobs boards where businesses can turn to find software engineering talent. To name just a few, competitors include: Freelancer.com, GitHub Jobs, Guru.com, Upwork and Toptal.
Its hybrid model, offering mentorship and an elite, invitation-only freelance marketplace, will help Codementor stand out and prove attractive to up-and-coming engineers alongside established ones, Weiting said.