As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates in the U.S. have spiked to more than 14 percent, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the economy struggling and many businesses closing, more than 40 million Americans have found themselves jobless. PAIRIN is a social enterprise tech startup with a mission to make education relevant and hiring equitable. PAIRIN’s My Journey platform helps these citizens, and all citizens, achieve meaningful employment through powerful partnerships with state governments, workforce agencies and education systems.
Today, PAIRIN announced it has raised $2.1 million in Series A funding to support its My Journey Platform and resources for individuals impacted by COVID-19. The investment will also be used to support the company’s overall growth. The round was led by social impact investor New Markets Venture Partners, along with New U Venture Partners, JFFLabs, and return investors Village Capital, ZOMA Foundation, and Independent Spectrum, LLC participating.
Founded in 2010 by Michael Simpson, the Dever, Colorado-based PAIRIN is a social enterprise company with a mission to make education relevant and hiring equitable. PAIRIN’s My Journey product is a workforce process management platform that personalizes career exploration, job matching, and skill development for education, workforce programs, and governments.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to define their own future, regardless of their background. During this period in our nation’s history, supporting the organizations and professionals helping people along their career journey is more important than ever,” stated Michael Simpson, CEO and co-founder of PAIRIN. “We’ve worked tirelessly alongside our partners in government and education to simplify the processes by which Americans enter and excel in the workforce. This funding will allow us to accelerate rollouts and key features that help connect people to critical resources, education and career assistance in an increasingly volatile job market. The enthusiasm and support we’ve received from investors are indicative of the widespread need for this technology.”
The Series A funding will help support the company’s rapid growth and hiring initiatives. PAIRIN plans to grow its workforce by 33 percent in the next year with new hires in engineering, design and project management roles, among others. At this rate, the company expects to be cash-flow positive and double its current number of employees by the end of 2021.
“New U Venture Partners (NUVP) is committed to investing in organizations that connect talent to opportunity, and PAIRIN’s data-driven approach will support that effort on a large scale,” said Dre Bennin, Managing Partner of NUVP. “By helping students and adult learners identify skills gaps and using data to demonstrate to employers the value of soft skills, PAIRIN can significantly increase ROI for job seekers and businesses — a win-win for workforce development.”
My Journey has dramatically increased its rollout in the past few months, with large workforce networks and state governments leading the way in adoption and interest. One PAIRIN customer has expanded from using My Journey in three regions to all 15 across the state during the pandemic to expand services to the recently unemployed.
“PAIRIN is at the intersection of innovation, technology and workforce development at a time where unemployment is at an all-time high and economic mobility is out of reach for millions more,” said Yigal Kerszenbaum, Managing Director of the Employment Technology Fund at JFFLabs. “[email protected] is excited to invest in PAIRIN as they expand the My Journey platform to other states, helping millions of people on their path to finding a meaningful career.”