Education startup Multiverse was founded by Tony Blair's son and just raised $44 million backed by Google

  • London-based edtech startup Multiverse just raised $44 million in a Series B funding round backed by GV.
  • The firm — formerly known as WhiteHat — was founded by Euan Blair, son of ex-UK Prime Minister Tony.
  • Blair told Insider he hoped to offer apprentices a viable alternative to university. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Multiverse, an education startup founded by Euan Blair, has raised $44 million in a funding round backed by Google's investment arm, GV. 

The firm, previously known as WhiteHat and founded in 2016, sets up economically disadvantaged young people with 18-month apprenticeships with hundreds of leading firms, including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft. 

Newly rebranded as Multiverse, the London-based firm won the backing of General Catalyst and angel investor John W. Thompson, chairman of Microsoft, ahead of its planned expansion into the US.

Euan Blair is the son of former UK prime minister Tony Blair. He is also married to the British venture capitalist, Suzanne Ashman Blair.

Asked about the name change, Blair told Business Insider: "The 'multiverse theory' suggests there's an infinite number of alternative universes, and that reflects our belief in unlimited possibilities. In the multiverse, anything is possible because somewhere it's already happening." 

Blair, who studied ancient history at Yale before landing an associate job at Morgan Stanley, said he was motivated to launch his startup after witnessing the lack of diversity in finance. 

"A lot of people I was working with were white and middle-class, and went to the same schools," he said. "I wanted to figure out how we could try and make sure the most desirable jobs don't just end up going to the same types of people they did the last time."

Pitching Multiverse as a viable alternative to university, Blair says he hopes apprentices will get the chance to enjoy "the social side" of education as much as their undergraduate peers. 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Multiverse successfully rolled out an interactive online platform, and hosted more than 150 fully virtual events in the last quarter of 2020 alone. 

"We're at an inflection point where every enterprise company is having to become a tech firm, generating a huge demand for skills in digital, data and software," said Microsoft chair Thompson. "This gives us a chance to find better ways to train people, and change the current imbalance of who gets access to great careers.

"The apprenticeship model Multiverse has built is a gamechanger, giving companies access to a new pool of talented individuals who can become the next generation of corporate leaders."

You can learn more about Multiverse here. 

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