Pathrise is changing the way companies find the right candidates for tech jobs. It helps tech industry workers by offering mentorship, advice, networking opportunities, and training. Guiding the company’s growth and strategy is CEO and founder Kevin Wu. He recently discussed the firm’s $9 million in Series A funding, as well as its prospects for the future and core capabilities.
Mr. Wu notes his company is “systematizing” the job search. What this means is he is adding structure and process to the ways people find their ideal tech industry job. The recent funding round, led by Learn Capital, with additional funding from Western Technology Investment and Day One Ventures enables Pathrise to expand and improve its unique job search system.
Mr. Wu previously started a gaming firm called Unboard. With this firm, he needed to develop a strategy for getting the most out of limited resources. He took those lessons and applied them to Pathrise, which he started with co-founder Derrick Mar.
He met Mr. Mar while working together on a nonprofit and together, they created Pathrise during the Y Combinator incubator. They wanted to focus on a mentoring approach to improving how people land a great job. They worked together to develop Pathrise as a different way to find a job, one that relied less on randomness and luck and more on developing connections and taking a measured, proven approach. With Pathrise, the team created a system for job searching that provides a more even playing field for applicants, specifically including underrepresented minorities, community college and state school graduates, and international people. These groups often struggle building networks and tech industry contacts, when compared to Ivy League and other top-tier former students with robust alumni connections.
A core capability for Pathrise is its mentorship program. Mr. Wu and Mr. Mar both have mentored many individuals during their careers and wanted to extend the benefits of mentorship into their new venture. The company features mentors from top tech companies as well as smaller firms. They work with Pathrise fellows 1-on-1 in live video sessions flexibly available to meet the user’s schedule. These occur once a week or until the Pathrise fellow receives an offer from a top tech company or startup.
Pathrise’s business model allows individuals successfully placed through the company’s systematized approach to go through the program for free and then share some of their income after they begin working. This sharing only happens when and if the candidate starts a job in their desired field, creating a win-win for talented workers and their future employers.