A Vietnam-based edtech startup, Virtual Internships, has raised $2.5 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator program Surge with participation from 500 Startups, iSeed, Arc Impact and the Hustle Fund.
|Virtual Internships raised $2.5 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge |
The fresh funds will be used to expand investment in the company’s technology as well as a build-out of the teams it employs to work with universities and employers.
Virtual Internships was founded by Oxford and Cambridge graduates Daniel Nivern and Edward Holroyd Pearce, who have a combined experience of over 15 years in this space. The pair met while doing a Master’s degree in London and went on to found the world’s leading provider of in-person internship programmes in Asia before launching the more accessible and tech-enabled model of Virtual Internships.
Virtual Internships incorporates technology and best practices from the world of remote work to enhance the internship experience for all stakeholders including students, universities, and companies. The platform encompasses international internships set up directly with a host company, accredited online career-readiness training, and access to a global network of young professionals.
The programme has seen the number of student sign-ups increase exponentially, with 100 students participating in 2019, rising to 1,700 in 2020 and over 6,000 set to take part in 2021. Today there are over 4,000 host companies across 70 countries, and over 100 universities and educational institutions worldwide.
Virtual Internships aims to widen participation and provide access to jobs for students of all backgrounds and nationalities. At the same time, this helps companies build a global pipeline of talent and a network of young professionals.
“We see our role as helping to create global pipelines of talent,” adds Holroyd Pearce. “It should be as easy for a student in Vietnam to intern with an employer in New York as for an intern in London to work at a business in Shanghai.”
Students can either pay directly for the programme or a school can pay on their behalf for a guaranteed internship placement with participating host companies, including the online curriculum and optional academic credit. 85 per cent of its Virtual Internships’ current revenue comes from universities, governments, and foundations.
The entire internship application, screening, approval, and acceptance process is done via the Virtual Internships platform. Employers receive access to video and CV screening tools, internship project templates, placement support, and content on remote team management. The platform also enables cohort hangouts, coaching, career training modules, supervisor feedback, and accreditation (including university credits in the United States).