New York-based education-to-employment specialist General Assembly (GA) has acquired Bitmaker Labs, a Canadian provider of education in computer programming and technology. No financial terms were disclosed. GA said Toronto-based Bitmaker’s team, including CEO and Founder Andrew Mawer, will continue to lead the company’s growth as a subsidiary. Founded in 2012, Bitmaker raised funding in November 2014 in a round led by Russell Square Partners. GA has raised close to US$120 million in venture capital since its launch in 2011. Its backers include Advance Publications, GSV Capital, IVP, Learn Capital, Maveron and Wellington Management.
General Assembly Acquires Canadian Career Accelerator; Announces Expansion Plans
Nearly Doubling its Physical Footprint, Global Education Company will Tackle Skills-Gap in 10 Additional Cities
NEW YORK, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — General Assembly (GA), a global education-to-employment company specializing in the most in-demand skills across data, tech, design and business, today announced the company’s largest expansion news to date. The company will grow its physical campus presence from 15 to 25 campuses by end of year, expanding into new, high demand markets. The company also announced its acquisition of Toronto-based tech and design career accelerator, Bitmaker.
“We are seeing incredible demand among employers — outside of the traditional urban hot spots more commonly associated with the tech sector — as they struggle to fill jobs that require 21st century skills like web development, data science and UX design,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of General Assembly. “This demand outstrips the capacity of conventional education which is why we are scaling to an entirely new level, adding resources for people and companies in these additional cities around the world.”
GA Enters New International Market: Canada
Originally launched with the mission of bridging the gap between the growing demand for talent from technology companies and the existing pool of developers, Bitmaker has become the country’s leading career accelerator with over 1,000 course graduates and more than 15,000 community members.
Bitmaker’s team, including CEO & Founder Andrew Mawer, will remain in place and continue to lead Bitmaker’s growth, as a subsidiary of General Assembly.
“We are incredibly enthusiastic about what this means for our students and community given General Assembly’s strong reputation and ability to deliver quality education and outcomes at scale,” Mawer said.
Schwartz continues, “as Canada’s first tech and design accelerator, Bitmaker has built an outstanding foundation. Now, combined with General Assembly’s global resources, we can take that foundation and our shared values as mission-driven companies, to make an even bigger impact.”
Expansion in U.S. and Australia
More than 350,000 students have come to one of GA’s existing 15 campuses to either attend an event or acquire new skills through any one of the company’s educational offerings. Earlier this year, GA opened its 15th campus in Denver and to make these skills even more accessible. GA will now be offering events, classes, workshops and opportunities for GA’s online students to engage with the GA community in the following cities:
•Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Queensland
•Brooklyn, New York
•Irvine/Orange County, California
•Raleigh, North Carolina
•San Jose, California
An additional U.S. market will be announced before end of year, bringing General Assembly’s physical campus count to 25 total campuses.
“From small businesses and startups to Fortune 500 brands, digital skill sets have never been more in demand. It is no coincidence that the skills helping companies to evolve – mobile development, data analytics, product management and user experience design – are the skills that we teach at General Assembly,” said Anna Lindow, GM Campus Education & Operations, General Assembly. “By expanding into new markets like Canada, and furthering our presence in existing Australian and U.S. regions, General Assembly will be able to empower even more individuals and add value to even more employers.”
About General Assembly
General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities.
GA works with students online and in person across 25 campuses in 6 countries. GA also works with employers to help companies source talent, assess talent and transform talent. Additionally, GA’s focus on affordable and accessible education combined with our education-to-employment approach is helping to create a diverse talent pipeline.
Photo courtesy of Bitmaker Labs