New Markets Venture Partners Join $2.1 Million Series B for Pairin

New Markets Venture Partners, a Fulton, Md. firm that specializes in social impact investments in education and workforce management, joined 15 other existing Pairin investors in raising a $2.1 million Series B round for the Denver, Colo.

The other investors in the workforce program manager include JFFLabs, Juvo Ventures and Potencia Ventures. Pairin also said it raised a $2 million line of credit. Founded in 2012, Pairin has so far raised over $10 million from investors.

“As the nation suffers increasingly high prices, job losses and the lingering effects of a pandemic, the need for connecting those most seriously impacted to the relevant services, programs and jobs that can help them along their journey has never been greater,” said Pairin co-founder and CEO Michael Simpson, whose parents are both educators.

Eyeing Higher Growth

Pairin would pursue a “more aggressive growth strategy, taking learnings and knowledge from our successes in California, Colorado, Virginia, Florida and Washington D.C.,” added Simpson, who has served as a certified coach for over a decade, including seven years in Russia coaching many at-risk young adults.

The startup has built a platform, called My Journey, to connect the workforce with education programs. It says My Journey is the most configurable case management platform, enabling one-click reporting and customizable case management. The platform also provides personalized career and academic planning for 6-12 grade students, and tools for coaches and workforce program participants. Pairin’s clients include Virginia Career Works, Virginia Department of Education and Baltimore City Public Schools. The startup has more than doubled revenue for the past three years, according to Simpson’s LinkedIn profile.

Focused on Education

New Markets was founded in 2002 by general partners Mark Grovic and Robb Doub, each of whom has three decades’ experience in investing and building high-growth information technology and business services companies. The firm eyes the so-called “double bottom line” — a measurable social outcome, in addition to traditional financial profits. It is a reason why it has focused on funding educational startups, and addressing critical gaps in education — nearly a third of Americans have no college degree and less than 30% of students have adequate reading and math skills.

Grovic previously cofounded the online educational firm LifeJourney and the Templeton Emerging Europe Fund. He also served as the VC-in-Residence at the University of Maryland University College’s Smith School and was an award-winning private equity professor for over 20 years. Most recently, he was a professor of Social Entrepreneurship and senior advisor to University of Maryland’s president for Corporate Development.

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