(Bloomberg) -- Handshake, a job network for recent college graduates, reached a valuation of $3.5 billion after a new round of financing.
The business received $200 million in an investment co-led by Coatue Management and Valiant Peregrine Fund, with participation from Base10’s Advancement Initiative and others. The San Francisco-based startup was valued at about $1.5 billion with a rounding round last year.
Handshake helps students and alumni find career opportunities. It offers a range of services, including virtual career fairs and help in building career-related skill sets.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Garrett Lord said that, in some respects, Handshake aims to be the LinkedIn for young people. While LinkedIn is for those who already have professional contacts, “Handshake is all about helping you build relationships without a network,” he said.
Handshake’s customers include employers such as Alphabet Inc. and Nike Inc., which pay Handshake to help them source talent. Universities also pay for their students to use Handshake. The company is on track for about $100 million in annual recurring revenue, Lord said.
One of the company’s priorities is helping students from underrepresented backgrounds find better opportunities, said board member Michael Lomax, president and chief executive officer of UNCF.
Lomax works with historically black colleges and universities and said that he expects Handshake to help more students from those schools to get jobs suitable for someone with a college degree. By building a professional network through Handshake, “it helps level the playing field,” he said.
Lord said that Handshake is “excited about going public in the years to come.” Becoming publicly traded through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company wouldn’t be on the table, though, he said. “We would never SPAC.”
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