Catalyte closes another multimillion-dollar funding round to start 2020
Baltimore’s fast-growing Catalyte is kicking off 2020 armed with $4 million in new funding, according to recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The firm, which focuses on workforce development in the software space, officially closed its latest round of funding this month. Within the last seven months, the company has raised a total of $14.7 million in new debt financing through two transactions. Participants in those transactions included Ukraine’s TA Ventures, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen and other undisclosed investors, according to PitchBook.
Previous Catalyte backers also include AOL co-founder Steve Case‘s Revolution fund, Cross Culture Ventures, Expon Capital, Palm Drive Capital and others. Its debt and equity capital funding to date totals more than $56 million.
Representatives with Catalyte did not comment on how the new funds would be used.
Catalyte employs a novel workforce development model aimed at increasing the nation’s supply of trained software developers. Its model employs artificial intelligence and analytics to identify promising software developers, using an assessment that measures how job candidates think about problems and how quickly they can learn. Factors like education level and past experience are not considered in the recruiting process. Those who pass the test are invited to join a paid, 20-week computer science training program and then work as an apprentice developer at Catalyte for two years.
CEO Jacob Hsu has said the goal of the model is to make potentially lucrative tech jobs more accessible to those who may not otherwise find a foothold in the industry. Catalyte’s recruits include former musicians, artists, truck drivers and veterans. Nearly half of the company’s recruited developers don’t have a college degree, and over a quarter are women and minorities.
Catalyte has been growing quickly in Baltimore, and beyond, in the past several years. The company is headquartered in the city’s Otterbein neighborhood and has been offering onsite developer trainings at satellite locations in Chicago, Denver and Portland, Oregon. It is plotting additional locations in the midwest and southwest areas of the country.
Hsu has said he hopes to grow Catalyte to have a physical footprint of 20 development centers nationwide. Its most recent center just opened in Boston, with an initial class of 15 developers who are scheduled to graduate Catalyte’s training program early this year. The company’s staff has grown to about 800 nationwide, most of whom are technical personnel.
Catalyte also recently launched its first consumer product. The company rolled its developer-making model into a standardized platform called “Odyssey,” which it plans to sell, so other companies can bolster their own tech workforces. Tom Iler, chief product officer, said in October that Catalyte was piloting the Odyssey platform internally, and was planning a full commercial launch in the first quarter of 2020.