Edtech startup InternMatch has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by residential property developer Doma Group as it looks to scale up recent expansion into the Canadian, US and UK markets.
Founded in 2016, the Melbourne-based business partners with leading companies, start-ups and education providers across the globe to provide university students and career changers with professional internships, training and mentorship.
Placing more than 10,000 students into internships to date, InternMatch CEO Gerard Holland said that by creating a global community focused on employment and career outcomes, the platform could plug appropriate candidates into roles in critical demand.
“Many individuals do not have the connections, support or resources to land themselves in these skilled professional roles, and so require a foot in the door that will allow them to use their knowledge and obtain ‘real world’ experience,” Holland explained.
“Our technology vets both the candidate and host company to ensure a transparent, safe and accountable relationship is established so that both parties are empowered and can form a long-lasting professional relationship.”
InternMatch has grown fourfold since launching into the international market 18 months ago, offering internships to young people looking for experience after completing their education and entering full-time employment.
The platform works with the University of Sydney, the University Group and the Victorian Government to help students gain experience in business and has placed interns at the likes of tech start-up Pelikin, accountants Pitcher Partners (Holland's former employer) and green-packaging outfit Little Green Panda.
It receives payment from universities and governments that place students into internships, with businesses charged a recruitment fee if they hire an intern at the end of their placement.
According to a recent report, there has been a 50 per cent reduction in entry-level jobs in the last 15 years, making entering the workforce and developing experience more challenging for young people.
InternMatch hopes to help solve this issue by connecting people across borders and industries to deliver supported internship placements that increase people’s career readiness and training.
Internships are unpaid, with InternMatch recommending they last for a maximum of 12 weeks while screening students and offering support to both parties through the process.
There is no requirement to offer post-internship employment, although, in the technology and engineering-related industries, which are currently experiencing the most demand, more than 65 per cent of interns have been offered an ongoing position at the end of their placement.
Canberra-based Doma Group, which led the round, is one of the largest investment and development companies in the ACT but is more widely known for its residential property developments and private hoteliers.
The Series A round also received backing from Melbourne-based investment firm Henslow, which facilitated the capital raise but decided to also invest after becoming convinced by InternMatch’s vision.
“The technology platform and the machine learning that sits behind the platform is a game-changer for both the businesses, universities and Interns that InternMatch engages with,” Henslow managing director Chris Tait said.
“We had a very strong response from our investor base and increasing interest from international investors.
“We as a firm were impressed by the team and their clear passion to tackle the employment crisis, not just in Australia but globally, and saw the value in having skin in the game to help them achieve this outcome.”
Alongside growing and expanding its existing network internationally, InternMatch will use the capital injection to invest in its technology platforms, making the process more individualised for both employers and prospective interns.
The business, which was previously known as Outcome.Life, will also use a proportion of the capital to fund scholarships for underprivileged and underrepresented students.
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