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Venture Capital News: Handshake Secures $10.5M in Series A

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, College career network built to transform the recruiting experience for college students, career centers and employers, has raised $10.5 million in Series A financing.
Handshake, the college career network built to transform the recruiting experience for college students, career centers and employers, today announced that it raised $10.5 million in Series A financing. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) led the round, with participation from True Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, which previously co-led Handshake's seed financing round, and Lowercase Capital. Eric Feng, general partner at KPCB, and former CTO at Hulu and Flipboard, will join Handshake's board of directors.

Handshake connects college students and young alumni to a comprehensive national network, all built on a fast, scalable, mobile infrastructure. Handshake's network gives students access to more career opportunities and insights, provides employers with more comprehensive and efficient access to talent, and gives colleges more tools to drive student engagement and increase student employment.

The funding round recognizes Handshake's traction since it was launched in the fall of 2014. Last year, the network grew from 5 to 60 universities, including Stanford, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, the University of Texas, and Wake Forest. Handshake now has more than 1.3 million student profiles and more than 40,000 active employers recruiting on the network, including 80% of the Fortune 100.

Handshake was conceived by CEO Garrett Lord and his co-Founders when, as students at Michigan Tech University in remote Houghton, Michigan (eight hours from Chicago or Detroit), they had limited opportunities to quickly or easily connect with their dream jobs in Silicon Valley. They set out to partner with colleges to create a tool that would engage students throughout college, help democratize access to the best opportunities across the country, and better match students and employers.

'Michigan Tech is a great school, with fantastic engineering talent. But it's not easy for most employers to recruit there. From the beginning, Handshake has been designed to complement the great work of college career centers to provide students and young alumni with unlimited access and insight to the best careers,' said Lord. 'Handshake extends the reach of students, colleges and companies, eliminating any barriers - geographic or otherwise - to finding students the best internships and jobs, and helping employers find the best talent.'

'Handshake is attempting to solve a big problem in a massive $25 billion recruiting market,' said Eric Feng, general partner at KPCB. 'All colleges are focused intensely on improving student employment outcomes. By partnering with universities, Handshake is building trusted relationships with both students and employers.'

Handshake has achieved quick success with all types universities across the country because the system is easy for career services to implement, easy for their students to use, and easy for colleges to attract a wider variety of high-quality employers from across the country, not just the city next door.

'Handshake is the new comer to watch in college-to-career space,' said Farouk Dey, Stanford's Dean of Career Education and Associate Vice Provost. 'It's intuitive, engaging, and gives career centers powerful analytics. Student feedback has been very positive and their engagement in campus career education and recruiting activities has increased dramatically.'

'The implementation has gone smoother than any other software in my 16 years with the department,' said Sarah Otto, Director of Career Development & Outreach at Eastern Michigan University.

'Since integrating Handshake, we've seen an influx of new employers from different regions of the country, several of whom had not previously considered Michigan students. Expanding and diversifying the employer base for our students is one of the many benefits of Handshake,' said Kerin Borland, Director of the Career Center at the University of Michigan.

Handshake will use the new funds, in part, to broaden and deepen its university partnerships across the country, expanding the network and enabling new schools to seamlessly implement the system. Handshake will also increase its engineering and product development efforts significantly. Shortly, Handshake will begin rolling out premium tools for employers, to better help companies target the right campuses and students, build their employer brands on campus, search for the best students, and integrate their college recruiting data with other HR systems.

Handshake's Seed and Series A investors include Annox Capital, Hans Robertson and Charlie Cheever. The company's investor and advisory board has attracted the involvement of former executives from Automattic, Facebook, Flipboard, Hulu, Lookout, Meraki, Palantir, Priceline, and Quora.

About Handshake

Launched in 2014, Handshake is the ultimate career network and recruiting platform for college students and young alumni. With over 60 U.S. universities, 1.3 million student profiles, and 40,000 companies posting over 300,000 job opportunities to-date, Handshake is designed to transform the recruiting experience for students, recruiters, and career centers. Notable universities in the Handshake network include Stanford, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of Texas and Wake Forest. Handshake, headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., has raised $14 million in funding from KPCB, Lightspeed Ventures, True Ventures, and Lowercase Capital. Read more about Handshake at

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) partners with the brightest entrepreneurs to turn disruptive ideas into world-changing businesses. The firm has helped build pioneering companies like Amazon, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Nest, Netscape and Twitter. KPCB offers entrepreneurs years of operating experience, puts them at the center of a vast and influential network, and accelerates their success through expertise and support in recruiting, product design and delivery, business development, strategic partnerships and brand building. KPCB invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies and operates from offices in Menlo Park, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing. For more information, visit and follow us @kpcb.
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