General Assembly, the New York-based educational startup that offers tech courses in campuses across different cities, today announced that it has raised a Series C round of $35 million. The funding was led by new investor Institutional Venture Partners — a recent backer of consumer powerhouses like Snapchat and Supercell, but also of more B2B plays like Business Insider, and e-commerce ventures like One Kings Lane — all categories that you could argue touch the GA business model.
GSV Capital, Rethink Education, Maveron, and Western Technology Investment also participated, and GA’s funding now totals $49.3 million.
The company was founded in 2011 in New York but has since expanded to eight cities in multiple countries (London, opened last year, was its first campus outside the U.S.). Some 100,000 students have passed through its doors and it says its alumni network totals some 6,000.
The funding will be used to expand those numbers further with more campuses and hopefully more students (and alumni). “While our progress has been tremendous, our work has barely begun,” writes co-founder and CEO Jake Schwartz. “Our mandate, our deepest organizational responsibility, is to support these alumni not just now, but for many, many years to come.”
He writes that in fact it was this mandate that led them to raise this latest round. What does that mean, exactly? General Assembly sees itself in part as not just a place to pick up a quick skill and never return, but a place to go back to learn more as the years go on — something like the educational equivalent of building up the kind of loyalty system that you traditionally see in retail environments.
This also fits with the company’s shift over time. Last year, the company shut down its co-working space in New York to focus more on its more lucrative educational courses. It has also even moved into launching its own software to support the effort. A first/recent case in point is Dash, an online coding tool.
General Assembly currently employees 250 people.