We’re excited today to announce our $6M Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. It’s been an incredible journey since we started this company in 2011, and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the path we traveled to get here.
I met my cofounder Dave Paola at UIUC where we both studied computer science, but programming was never more than school work to me until I took a part-time job at a local startup called merge.fm. With the founders as my mentors, I learned about craftsmanship in software development. And within the culture of developers and designers, there was a profound idea that would eventually manifest itself in Bloc.
If you ask any good developer or designer, their job is more than just a job to them. It’s their craft and their passion, and it’s clear that the fulfillment they get from what they do extends far beyond their paycheck. The greatest businesses stand for something more than just an opportunity to make money, and where we plant our flag at Bloc is in this idea of enabling an entire work force to find and cultivate fulfilling careers through a modernized education. In the wake of a jobless economic recovery and a generation burdened by unprecedented student debt, unemployment, and underemployment, Bloc offers ambitious and driven professionals with the experiences they need to find meaningful careers as developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and makers.
During the process of finding the right partner for our Series A, we were once asked: “Your competitors are brilliant computer scientists and professors at Ivy League universities, how do you go up against them?” I answered that this “shortcoming” is also our secret weapon; Bloc is developer education created by developers and you only have to ask one of our amazing mentors or students to see that the distinction is compelling.
Guided by those beliefs and armed with investment capital from a great firm like Shasta that shares our values, we’re ready to embark on the next part of our journey. Over the last year, we’ve welcomed 4x more students in over 20 countries across the world. With this funding, we’ll be going deeper with our first five online bootcamps by offering job prep and job placement services, as well as launching more courses to serve the gap in continued education for developers and designers.
We’d like to thank the community of students, mentors, and other supporters we’ve had along the way, and in particular our investor Michael Dearing whose guidance and faith has been pivotal in Bloc’s success. We’re excited at the opportunity we have in front of us to build an enduring institution with a genuinely positive impact on the world.