Indianapolis-based Kenzie Academy, an online and in-person college alternative that provides job-focused technology training, has secured a $100 million investment from Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment manager based in San Francisco.
The company said that the funds will be used to support student tuition financing for its tech and coding programs and expand its learning offerings across the entire country.
Founded in 2017, Kenzie Academy focuses on untapped talent in Middle America and provides job-focused training with affordable financing helping students to propel rewarding careers in technology. Its one-year project-based curriculum is created by industry experts and designed to parallel today’s workplace. The company offers both on campus and online programs in Software Engineering and UX Engineering, training students to develop the hard and soft skills that employers look for at the workplace.
Speaking on the funding, Chok Ooi, CEO and co-founder of Kenzie Academy, highlighted the plight of millions of students who are not able to get high-quality education saying,
“There are millions of Americans who are barred from high-quality post-secondary education because of where they live and their financial situation. And many who are lucky enough to go to college find themselves buried in debt and without a job. This $100 million will level the playing field, enabling deserving individuals, regardless of their background, to access high-quality training that leads to a high-paying job in tech for only $100 upfront. Kenzie will be scaling our online classroom to teach engineering skills to anyone, anywhere, and then find them the types of jobs that will change their lives.”
Kenzie Academy has plans to enrol 10,000 new students in the next three years. To achieve this goal and as part of a long-held effort to pass on savings to students, the company is redesigning its Income Share Agreement program as part of CIM’s investment, lowering both its monthly repayment rate and tuition costs effective immediately and applying to all current students and alumni. The academy now allows students who use an ISA to enrol in the program only start making payments after they graduate and get a job earning $40,000 or more annually.
Lauding Kenzie Academy’s effort to make technology training more accessible to all Americans and for preparing students with the skills to succeed, Jacob Haar, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Community Investment Management, said,
“We are excited to support Kenzie Academy in their mission to make technology training more accessible for all Americans. Kenzie is equipping the talent beyond Silicon Valley to fill the technology jobs of today which are located across the country. This innovative and aligned financing demonstrates Kenzie’s commitment to prepare their graduates with the skills to succeed and offer students from diverse communities and backgrounds the opportunity to pursue technology careers.”
At a time when employers are struggling to find job-ready candidates because of inadequate preparedness and lack of required skills, Kenzie Academy is solving this problem by training untapped talent in Middle America and throughout the US. And with an affordable price point and flexible financing options making education accessible for all, the company is closing the opportunities gap for Americans that have been left behind by today’s economy. The company has enrolled over 400 students to date.
Kenzie has just recently raised a $7.8 million in Series A funding led by Rethink Education with participation from Rise of the Rest, Strada, LearnStart, Peak State Ventures, Flat World Partners, and Kelly Services.