Bengaluru: InterviewBit, a startup that offers online training for a career in programming, has raised $20 million from Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital India and others at a valuation of $110 million.
The Bengaluru-based outfit offers daily live-streamed classes to prepare aspiring software engineers for the notoriously competitive job interviews in their industry. It guides students with the help of remote personal mentors and, upon completion of training, looks to match them with available jobs, with no payment until they are employed. Its six-month coding bootcamp called Scaler Academy has received more than 200,000 applications since it launched in April.
“India has a surfeit of engineering graduates but traditional colleges are not equipped to cater to the in-demand skills,” Abhimanyu Saxena, co-founder of InterviewBit said in a phone interview. “Companies face a huge challenge in hiring quality talent.”
India has thousands of engineering colleges, but more than 80% of their graduates are deemed “unemployable” by tech companies as they lack the hands-on coding training or exposure to projects, according to a study by recruitment analysts Aspiring Minds last year. The country’s outsourcing industry employs millions, but they also need to be retrained in new skills such as artificial intelligence and mobile app development.
Strong global demand for the latest software skills has seeded a novel crop of coding schools around Bengaluru that offer to upgrade programming skills on a pay-after-placement basis.
InterviewBit’s model makes it accessible to students and engineers without any geographical or financial constraints. Those who get placed pay a portion of their salary from the first two years to the startup. “Our most successful students come from unknown engineering colleges in smaller cities,” said Saxena.
Coders from its seven batches, including one cohort in the U.S., have been placed at global technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.
The company will use the $20 million to scale up enrollment and launch in new markets. -Bloomberg