Bitwise Industries, a tech startup co-founded by Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal, has raised $80 million in funding to support its expansion into Chicago and other cities across the United States. The company’s three-pronged business model includes a coding and tech skills bootcamp called Geekwise Academy, a software development house known as Shift3 Technologies, and commercial real estate development. The company’s latest funding round was led by Kapor Center, Motley Fool, the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Citibank. Bitwise has raised over $200 million in capital to date.
Bitwise’s sprawling business model makes it tough to summarize in a sentence, but Olguin claims the company has over 500 customers across 15 states and dozens of agencies and municipalities. Its revenue reportedly reached $40 million in 2020, with Bitwise estimating that it has helped create 15,000 jobs in just one of the cities where it operates. The company also claims to have renovated over a million square feet of real estate in underserved downtown areas and supported the skilling of over 10,000 people.
Bitwise has been successful in filling the talent gap in the tech industry by upskilling and training talent from underserved communities. The company also aims to effect change at the local level by creating economic opportunity for those in underserved communities. Olguin’s mission is to change entrenched bias and make people in positions of power see that sharing privilege actually strengthens companies.
According to Hillel Moerman, a partner at Goldman Sachs, Bitwise has shown a strong track record in training and upskilling talent to successfully find placement in the highly competitive technology labor market. Moerman also believes that filling the talent gaps is not only pertinent for the sector but also key to creating economic opportunity for those in underserved communities.
Bitwise Industries plans to use the new funding to expand its business into 40 cities nationwide. Olguin expects to see similar growth by the end of the year, with Bitwise currently having ten locations and more than 500 employees, a number that’s triple what it was three years ago.
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