Handshake Lands $40 Million Series C

SAN FRANCISCO — Handshake, a career network for U.S. college students, has closed a $40 million Series C funding round led by the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”), a European multi-stage VC fund. This funding round also includes participation from leading social impact investors including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (“CZI”), Omidyar Network, and Reach Capital,  among others.

In conjunction with the funding, Alastair Mitchell of EQT Ventures is joining Handshake’s Board of Directors. Representatives from CZI, Omidyar Network, Reach Capital and others will be joining a newly formed Impact Advisory Board to advise the company on better measuring and growing its social impact.

The Series C brings Handshake’s total funding to $74 million, which also includes participation from previous investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, True Ventures, and Lightspeed Ventures.

Founded in 2013 by three Michigan Tech students with the goal of democratizing opportunity, Handshake’s partnership with colleges and universities is dramatically increasing the access to jobs and internships for students and young alumni nationwide. The Handshake network launched with five initial partner schools and the community now includes 700 colleges and universities, 14 million students and young alumni and 300,000 employers – including 100% of the Fortune 500. The Handshake community proudly supports more than 100+ minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions across the country.

“Our Handshake community is tackling the so-called ‘pipeline problem’ head on. Skilled students are on every campus in every corner of the country and we’re proud to help employers discover, recruit and hire up-and-coming talent from all backgrounds,” said Garrett Lord, Handshake Co-Founder and CEO. “Students around the world experience the same inequality in the recruiting process, so we’re excited to partner with Alastair Mitchell and EQT Ventures to expand our impact beyond the United States.”

“Handshake is the leading, fastest-growing early-career recruitment platform in the US for students and employers,” said Alastair Mitchell, Partner at EQT Ventures. “We’re delighted to join forces with Garrett and the Handshake team on their journey, helping them to expand their footprint across North America and into new markets internationally with both financial and operational support.”

In this next phase of growth, Handshake plans to advance its product roadmap to continue to broaden the capabilities for each of the three-sided marketplace for students, universities, and employers. Today, Handshake offers a suite of Premium employer features in the newly-launched Talent Engagement Suite, empowering employers to source, engage, and hire the right students for their team, from every background, in every corner of the country. Over the next year, Team Handshake plans to double, from 100 to 200 employees, with a focus on product, engineering and design efforts, with an emphasis on data and recommendations expertise.