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Vietnam-based edtech startup raised $2.5 million

Vietnam-based edtech startup Virtual Internships has just raised $2.5 million of capital led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge. 500 Startups, iSeed, Arc Impact, Hustle Fund also participate in the round. The funds underpin further investment in the startup’s technology. The money will also allow the edtech startup to recruit more.

The Vietnam-based edtech solution

Virtual Internships was founded in 2018 by Daniel Nivern and Edward Holroyd Pearce to connect interns and employees virtually. The co-founders had several years of experience organising in-person internships for businesses across Asia. They have been thinking for some time how to make such programmes more accessible and scalable. The startup found itself in the right place at the right time over the past year and a half. The Vietnam-based startup launched a pilot programme with a number of forward-thinking employers in 2018. And in 2019, 100 young people took part.

Illustration of virtual internship

The simple concept of Virtual Internships was not developed to respond to the pandemic. But it has proved hugely valuable in the face of COVID-19. The number of internships increased to 1,700 in 2020. It is targeting for 6,000 in 2021. “We certainly didn’t anticipate COVID-19,” said the co-founders. “But we saw the rise of remote working and the use of workplace technologies. So we saw a need to mirror that. We believe in the positive advantages of virtual internships. They will stay even after the world returning to normal. Our ultimate aspiration is to be working with one million students in five years.” The startup works with 4,000 host companies in 70 countries, and more than 100 educational institutions worldwide. 36% of students taking part in its placements have been offered further work at the end of the internship or a full-time job.

Virtual Internships’ mission

The National Association of Colleges and Employers estimates that having completed an internship increases a student’s chances of getting a job more quickly by 16%. Virtual Internships is in a position to collaborate with employers in every corner of the world. The position enables it to increase the number of opportunities it offers much more quickly. The startup matches employers worldwide with educational institutions whose students are looking for internship opportunities. The Vietnam-based startup acts as an intermediary, effectively vetting both sides. It ensures that employers can offer meaningful placements and choose the right candidates for the job. Virtual Internships also handles the administration of the internship. This includes monitoring placements to ensure that both sides are happy. The startup also works with both parties to ensure that they can make the most of the opportunity.

Sources of information include TechInAsia and Forbes.