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Career Karma lands $40M to evolve into an edtech employee benefit

Career Karma raised its first millions off of a pitch that resonates with anyone who has ever googled coding bootcamps: a navigation tool for aspiring students and working professionals. Instead of creating its own curriculum, Career Karma helps students find the best programs for their price point and career goals.

The startup, founded in 2018 by Ruben Harris, Artur Meyster and Timur Meyster, is now growing its ambition to serve more than the bogged-down bootcamp student: over the past few months, Career Karma has seeded partnerships with employers, making it the latest consumer-focused edtech startup to go the employer benefit route as it scales. Now, Harris describes, his vision is that Career Karma will match employees and contractors to job training programs in the marketplace it has built over the past few years. Read more.

Jan 20, 2022 by Natasha Mascarenhas
Impact Alpha

BlocPower secures $30 million from Microsoft to retrofit old city buildings

Brooklyn-based BlocPower has worked with utilities, government agencies and property owners to retrofit more than 1,200 buildings for low- and middle-income residents in 26 U.S. cities since 2014. One of its latest projects: a large-scale, city-wide partnership with the city of Ithaca to electrify and decarbonize its building stock.

The investment from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund will support and expand current projects, including in Ithaca. It will also fund BlocPower’s electrification services. “The funding provided will fuel BlocPower’s efforts to make a meaningful impact on climate change and bring environmental and economic justice to frontline communities across America that need it most,” BlocPower’s Donnel Baird said. Read more.

Jan 18, 2022 by Roodgally Senatus

Searchlight puts new capital to work with expanded talent intelligence tools

Someone’s education and work history can be similar to other resumes in a pile, but Searchlight aims to improve how companies measure a person’s soft skills to provide not only a differentiator, but also a better indication of how well that person will ultimately fit into the organization.

Kerry Wang and her twin sister, Anna Wang, saw this problem firsthand when they tried to distinguish themselves when they applied for the same job. Kerry Wang told TechCrunch that she felt some interview processes didn’t enable enough time for them to fully demonstrate how they were different. Read more.

Dec 20, 2021 by Christine Hall

Jeff Bezos climate fund gives millions to energy efficiency start-up BlocPower

The Bezos Earth Fund announced new donations of $443 million to a wide range of climate and environmental groups this week, including a $5.5 million grant to BlocPower, an energy efficiency technology start-up focused on building construction and retrofits in urban areas.

BlocPower, which is a CNBC Disruptor 50 company, has completed 1,000 green energy projects to date in the New York City area. It plans to use the Bezos grant to add 125 million buildings and additional cities to its BlocMaps software database, which identifies buildings in need of energy efficiency upgrades and helps building owners learn how to electrify and decarbonize properties. Read more.

Dec 7, 2021 by Alicia Doniger
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