Exclusive: Serena Williams-backed online academy raises $3M to teach tech jobseekers how to sell

Serena

Coding boot camps are nothing new. People looking to get into the tech industry sign up by the throngs, but Shaan Hathiramani noticed a giant chasm in another area that’s vital to that world: tech sales.

He also noted that sales isn’t something taught in college and that the people who did pursue careers in what Old Media might call “peddling” tended to be male and white.

Hathiramani decided to turn that upside down when he founded Flockjay, and it looks like a lot of people agree with him. Today, the online sales academy—which trains people from nontraditional backgrounds for jobs in tech—announced $2.98 million in new funding from a diverse set of backers who are 50% women and 50% people of color.

The funding round included superstar backers like Serena Williams and Will Smith, in addition to a host of big-name investors: Microsoft chairman John Thompson; Airtable head of sales Liat Bycel; Gmail inventor Paul Buchheit; and former Netflix CPO Tom Willerer, among others. Lightspeed, Coatue, Y Combinator, F7, SV Angel, and Index Ventures also participated in the round. (read more)

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