Koru secures $4.35M in Series A round led by venture capital firm Maveron

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 12, 2013 06:54 PM EST

Education startup Koru said it was able to raise $4.35 million in its Series A financing. The round was led by venture capital firm Maveron and was also participated in by Battery Ventures, First Round Capital and a 16z seed. Some unnamed individual investors also supported the Seattle-based startup founded by veteran entrepreneurs Kristen Hamilton and Josh Jarrett.

Koru said proceeds from the round will be used to establish a business aimed at transforming the way recnet college graduates prepare for success in the real world. Instead of being merely job seekers, Koru intends to help graduates become contributors to the most innovative and fastest growing firms in the US.

Koru works with employers who are actively hiring to provide an immersive and experiential program that will form college graduates who are ready for the workplace. They will then be placed in high-growth work environments where they will move in the context of real-world scenarios and learn from them.

The approach used by Koru is a combination of in-person instruction, professional mentorship and online learning which would help participants gain job-specific skills and give them the tools and techniques necessary to compete in today's workplace. Through instructors and guest speakers, the participants are also able to develop professional connections and have direct access to executives, staff and hiring managers.

Former World Learning COO and Onvia Co-Founder Kristen Hamilton is the Chief Executive Officer of Koru while Josh Jarrett is the Chief Learning Officer. Jarrett who was most recently the head of Higher Education Innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be responsible for Koru's program development. As part of the deal, Clayton Lewis, a partner at Maveron, will be joining the board of directors of the education company.

Koru said successful pilot programs were already run with REI and Trupanion. For next year, it will kick off with a Winter Break program at zulily which will have more than 100 open positions.

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