Pathrise Founder and CEO Discusses Company’s Funding Round and Business Model

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The CEO and founder of Pathrise is systematizing the job search. This means adding process and rules to the ways people network, receive mentorship and ultimately find a job. Kevin Wu and his team recently secured $9 million in Series A funding, which the company will leverage to manage growth, and improve its service offerings.

Led by Learn Capital, with additional funding from Western Technology Investment and Day One Ventures, the funding round provides Pathrise with the capital it needs to expand and transform the job search dynamic. Mr. Wu previously started a gaming company called Unboard, an experience that taught him the importance of a strategic approach and how a startup can leverage limited resources. This venture taught him many valuable lessons that he applied to Pathrise’s formation and continued growth.

He started Pathrise with co-founder Derrick Mar as a way to reimagine the job search. They went through the well-known Y Combinator startup incubator, which helped them establish their mission and launch the company. They developed Pathrise to counter the randomness and luck inherent in most job search successes. Many people fall into jobs because they met the right person or attended a prestigious school visited by top employers. Pathrise creates a systematized job search that provides opportunities for underrepresented minorities, community college and state school graduates, and international people who might have difficulty getting their foot in the door.

Mentoring is a core part of the Pathrise program as both Mr. Wu and Mr. Mar know that 1-on-1, personalized support is the most effective way to garner success. Pathrise features top mentors from tech industry giants like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and more firms as well as smaller companies and startups. Live 1-on-1 mentoring sessions are available on the fellows’ schedule and occur weekly until the fellow is hired at a top tech company or startup.

Pathrise’s model utilizes an income share agreement so that successfully placed individuals share a portion of their income for six months after they begin working at a job they love. Users only pay if they successfully start a high-paying job.

Mr. Wu and the team noted they adopted a systematic approach to finding investors. They utilized Crunchbase and the Y Combinator database to gather information and build a “shortlist” of firms based on various rules and parameters. With the funding completed, the company and Mr. Wu now look forward to serving more clients and democratizing access to the best tech jobs.