Career Karma CEO Ruben Harris is always on the go these days since his San Francisco startup raised $40 million in January in a Series B funding.
“Nothing about fundraising is easy, but I feel I am good at it,” says Harris, speaking to The Network Journal as he recently waited to board yet another flight. “It’s part storytelling, part of it is unique approaches, part of it is the problem you’re solving.”
Founded in 2018, Career Karma connects employee hopefuls to job-training programs. The Series B funding brings to $52 million the total the company has raised since its inception and will accelerate its expansion drive.
“[It] will allow us to enter into higher education and double down our community efforts,” says Harris. “We want to be the biggest workforce development of our time.”
Career Karma helps jobseekers determine potential new career paths, then matches them with bootcamps and other training programs to equip them with the requisite skills.
“Career Karma is the easiest way to find a job training program online. We help people who want to get a job in tech and non-technical, like sales, marketing, and design,” Harris says.
The company helps these jobseekers obtain employer-paid tuition to re-skill and/or up-skill them ideally for more advanced jobs.
“Job training programs seek us out to send them qualified applicants,” says Harris. “We break down the barriers to getting an education that leads to better jobs and jobs with benefits.”
He notes that by providing the tools to land jobs, with training in seven industry sectors, Career Karma’s services can positively impact communities of low and under-employment, particularly Black and brown communities that often are shut out from the job market.
“It’s the product we wish we had when breaking into tech,” Harris, a Cuban-American, says of the three Career Karma co-founders. “When we started in tech, I hadn’t gone to an Ivy League school, didn’t have a good GPA, and had these mental blocks. I thought I had to be like other people. I didn’t realize that being unique was actually a superpower.”
Harris and his two business partners, twins Artur and Timur Meyster, launched their tech careers in Silicon Valley in 2014. Together they started a podcast called “Breaking Into Startups” that still airs. Four years later, they launched the Career Karma mobile app. By 2020, the app’s users had grown to 150,000.
By Harris’s count, about 3 million people use the Career Karma app each month for career advice, and the company introduces about 25,000 people a month to different job training programs.
“We’re entering a world where you are always learning,” says Harris. “There are people who showed me how things work, and I want to show others how things work.”