Handshake, a recruiting startup focused on college students entering the workforce, has raised $80 million in a Series D funding round led by GGV Capital. That brings the firm’s total funding to $154 million.
For students seeking internships or jobs, the company provides free-of-charge accounts with independently verified school grades, according to a company statement. For university career service offices, it offers paid accounts with rates adjusted to their size and needs.
Finally, for employers, Handshake offers a freemium service with free job postings and paid subscription accounts offering enhanced branding, advanced analytics and additional sourcing capabilities. The company doesn’t disclose its fee structure, saying only that prices vary based on the client’s level of entry-level recruitment and the complexity of their hiring.
Since the start of the pandemic, Handshake has built up a separate business in virtual career fairs. The firm says it will host thousands of virtual events for more than 650 colleges and universities this year alone. Nearly 300,000 students have taken part so far, and Handshake expects the number to double by year-end.
Handshake, based in the Bay Area and founded by three recent graduates of Michigan Tech University, says 17 million students have free accounts and that 7 million are seeking work or internships. It says it has 1,000 university clients and 500,000 enterprise clients.
The company’s direct competitors would appear to be early-career niche jobs sites such as CollegeRecruiter and AfterCollege. However, at least in terms of traffic, Handshake’s 11 million-plus monthly visits is an order of magnitude bigger than the traffic of either of those sites.
So far, Handshake has mainly served four-year universities, and it says it counts 85% of the top-500 U.S. schools as clients, along with 120 minority-serving institutions.
With the new funding, the company says it will broaden its reach to two-year community colleges, of which it serves just 70 so far. It also plans to broaden its footprint in the U.K., after expanding there this fall. It counts eight U.K. higher education institutions as clients and says, since mid-September, more than 20,000 students in the U.K. have activated accounts.
The company employs about 250 employees and plans to grow its headcount to between 300 and 350 people next year.
Handshake acknowledges it has not made a profit. “As typical of mid-stage, venture backed startups, Handshake is not profitable,” the company states. “We are in high-growth mode but do not comment on a timeline for profitability.”
Its other investors include EQT Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital and True Ventures, along with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Emerson Collective and Imaginable Futures.