General Assembly, which helps people learn technical skills such as Web development, data analytics and user interface design, is selling to Switzerland-based Adecco Group for $412.5 million.
The New York-based operator of coding schools was backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, Seattle venture capital firm Maveron, Advance Publications, Wellington Capital and others, previously raising about $120 million in venture funding.
General Assembly, with 14 locations in North America, including operations in Austin, Boston and Seattle, posted about $100 million in revenue last year. Upcoming courses in Seattle include Intro to Coding: HTML and CSS and Building Brands People Love.
In a press release, Adecco Group CEO Alain Dehaze said that the rise of automation is creating a “critical need to re-skill workers, with as many as 375 million employees globally needing to transition to new roles by 2030.”
“By offering General Assembly’s services alongside the Group’s existing talent development, career transition and professional staffing solutions we will be able to better respond to these client needs, enhancing both access to and the supply of the most in-demand skills,” Dehaze said. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly team to build a dynamic and unique business together.”
General Assembly was founded in 2011 by Jake Schwartz, who plans to stick with the new company and report to Adecco’s Sergio Picarelli. General Assembly will operate as a separate division. It employs more than 500 people, but underwent a layoff of 7 percent of its workforce in 2015 as it focused on enterprise clients.
“General Assembly has always been about creating bridges between education and employment — that’s what has allowed us to scale to 20 campuses, 50,000 alumni, and over 300 Fortune 500 clients,” Schwartz said in a release. “As our work with employers has grown, so has our need to connect in a deeper way with the world of human capital, and that is why we are so excited about the transformational opportunities that come with this partnership.”
Maveron’s Jason Stoffer, a board member at General Assembly who who led the company’s series A funding round, said that Schwartz “deftly pivoted GA into the iconic education business it is today.”
“As an investor, it has been a great pleasure to see Jake transition from a first-time CEO to a leader who displayed great strategic acumen and leadership in educating millions of people globally,” Stoffer told GeekWire.
More in this blog post from Schwartz, who originally discussed taking the company public.