Virtual Internships today announced a $2.5m fundraise led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge with participation from 500 Startups, iSeed, Arc Impact and Hustle Fund. The EdTech company delivers global work experience programmes across 18 career fields, helping young people kick-start their career and prepare for the future of work in a digital, borderless world.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers finds that internships increase a student’s chances of getting a job offer faster by approximately 16%. However, recent times have made it difficult for students to pursue their dream internship due to COVID-19 restrictions widening geographical boundaries.
Virtual Internships removes these barriers by incorporating technology and best practices from the world of remote work, to enhance the internship experience for all stakeholders including students, universities and companies. The platform encompasses international internships set up directly with a host company, accredited online career-readiness training, and access to a global network of young professionals.
The programme has seen the number of student sign-ups increase exponentially, with 100 students participating in 2019, rising to 1700 in 2020 and over 6000 set to take part in 2021. Today there are over 4,000 host companies across 70 countries, and over 100 universities and educational institutions worldwide.
Virtual Internships aims to widen participation and provide access to jobs for students of all backgrounds and nationalities. At the same time, this helps companies build a global pipeline of talent and network of young professionals.
“Digitalisation has completely accelerated the way we work with people across the globe and internships should mirror this pattern. With a focus on accessibility, diversity and clear learning outcomes, we’ve redesigned the internship experience for a new, virtual and borderless world,” said Daniel Nivern, CEO and Co-Founder of Virtual Internships.
Students can either pay directly for the programme or a school can pay on their behalf for a guaranteed internship placement with participating host companies, including the online curriculum and optional academic credit. 85% of its Virtual Internships’ current revenue comes from universities, governments and foundations.
The entire internship application, screening, approval and acceptance process is done via the Virtual Internships platform. Employers receive access to video and CV screening tools, internship project templates, placement support, and content on remote team management. The platform also enables cohort hangouts, coaching, career training modules, supervisor feedback, and accreditation (including university credits in the US).
“Virtual Internships was a great opportunity for me to learn new skills that were imperative for an aspiring graduate. Being able to build confidence, get hands-on experience in my chosen career field, networking, and receiving feedback for personal development was wonderful,” said Jennifer Sharon, a student at Northumbria University.
Virtual Internships was founded by Oxford and Cambridge graduates Daniel Nivern and Edward Holroyd Pearce, who have a combined experience of over 15 years in this space. The pair met while doing a Master’s degree in International Management and Mandarin in London, and went on to found the world’s leading provider of in-person internship programmes in Asia, before launching the more accessible and tech-enabled model of Virtual Internships.
Virtual Internships is part of the Sequoia Capital India’s Surge fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals live, work and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.