NEW YORK – Jan. 13, 2015 – Thinkful (www.thinkful.com), the education company that teaches coding and design through online mentorship, announced today that it has raised an additional $4.25 million in funding led by Floodgate Fund, with participation from existing investors RRE Ventures and Quotidian Ventures.
The company, which grew 5-fold last year to over 3,000 students, has built the largest global network of software engineers to mentor students 1-on-1 as they learn technology skills and pursue career changes. Today, with the new financing, Thinkful announces career services as the next step in building its disruptive model for career education.
As part of the fundraising, Ann Miura-Ko, founding partner at Floodgate Fund, will join Thinkful’s Board. Named “The Most Powerful Woman in Startups” by Forbes, Miura-Ko brings extensive experience in engineering and academia, teaching courses in entrepreneurship at Stanford where she got her PhD in math modeling. “Thinkful is the first and best platform to provide human-driven learning. Thinkful’s rapid growth can be attributed to the power of their mentor network and the acknowledgement that people are just as important in teaching as the content,” said Miura-Ko. “The impressive student testimonials make me very excited to work alongside Thinkful as they hit a new inflection point in growth.”
Thinkful was founded in 2012 by Dan Friedman, an inaugural member of the Thiel Fellowship, and Darrell Silver, whose last startup, Perpetually, was acquired by Dell. Thinkful designed a personalized online learning model after seeing massive demand for technology skills and the failure of traditional schools to teach them. The company built a network of 250 professional engineers who help drive 70% completion across its courses, far exceeding the single digit completion rates of other online programs.
"Traditional, classroom education for engineers simply doesn't work, especially for adults with full-time jobs,” said Silver, the company’s CEO. “We’re creating a learning process that can evolve as quickly as technology changes. Having a great mentor is proven to be the best, if not the only way to become a true expert; we built Thinkful around that idea. We’re thrilled to have Ann Miura-Ko join our board of directors. She brings tremendous experience from guiding teams at Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Chegg.”
Equipping graduates with job-ready skills, Thinkful proves teaching through online mentorship is a strong solution to the rising costs plaguing traditional education. Hundreds of companies, including Google, PayPal, and Instacart, have hired its graduates, who demonstrate their expertise through project-driven courses. “Thinkful was more convenient than any graduate school, and I didn’t need to worry about loans,” said Cody Karst, an alumnus of the Frontend Web Development course. “Plus, I landed my first freelance job within weeks of graduating.”
This recent funding round comes after a $1 million seed round in February 2013 led by RRE Ventures, Peter Thiel’s FF Angel, Quotidian Ventures, among others. Thinkful has several product announcements in the pipeline for early 2015. For more information, visit www.thinkful.com.
Thinkful provides self-paced engineering and design education through 1-on-1 online mentorship. The company has a network of software engineers who work directly with students in project-driven courses. Most students are fully-employed, joining Thinkful to gain the skills they need to advance their careers. Thinkful was founded by Darrell Silver and Dan Friedman in 2012 and has received funding from Peter Thiel, Floodgate Fund, RRE Ventures, and Quotidian Ventures.