GV invests in Home From College, a career platform for Gen Z

Home From College, a career platform for young professionals and college students looking for their first job or internship, announced Wednesday that it raised $5.4 million in a seed round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures).

The new capital will go toward building out the platform’s main offering, “Gig,” a marketplace for companies to list jobs, ranging from part-time and internship opportunities to one-time projects and more long-term roles. Home From College features job listings from hundreds of top brands such as Poppi, Aquaphor, Burt’s Bees, Nivea, Urban Decay, Thrive Market, Peacock, and Steve Madden, among others.

The Los Angeles–based startup was founded in 2021 by Julia Haber, who founded WAYV, a marketing company that created “branded experiences” like pop-up shops on college campuses; and Kaj Zandvliet, a former banker at PineBridge Investments and financial analyst at Sony Music Entertainment.

Home From College had its genesis during WAYV-hosted events, where students would express their “fear of being unemployed when they graduated” and “not having their [college] major aligning with what they actually wanted to do in life,” Haber told TechCrunch. Other pain points include students being unable to find an enjoyable way to earn extra income during their time at college, or not qualifying for jobs due to an empty résumé.

Home From College aims to disrupt the traditional job search for Gen Z, who are gravitating toward more flexible opportunities outside of the 9 to 5. Some call Gen Z the “freelance generation,” with 67% of Gen Zers embracing freelance work and 71% prioritizing jobs with flexible working hours, per Fiverr. Gen Z is also exploring more creative roles, with many looking to build their careers in social media, entertainment, marketing, beauty, and fashion.

Haber wants Home From College to be a place for students to find gigs that fit within their busy lifestyles and provide valuable experience related to their career path and goals. So rather than applying for unpaid internships, they can take on side hustles like a social media ambassador or logo designer.

Image Credits: Home From College

“I work full time, so I’ve been using [Home From College] as a way to get side gigs,” Sierra Estevez, a recent graduate from SUNY Oneonta, told us. “I’m able to filter through the different gigs that are available to find opportunities that suit my timeframe or my schedule.”

When reviewing the marketplace, the majority of the listings are one-time gigs mainly focused on content creation or product testing, which many brands offer to get feedback from a younger demographic. The compensation varies widely. For instance, Nivea is currently offering $500 to create two TikTok videos. Smaller businesses offer much lower compensation, with one company offering just $15 to try a product and leave a review.

“All gigs on Home From College are paid … [it] helps weed out the [jobs] that feel maybe disingenuous to students or feel manipulative of their time because we know Gen Z cares a lot about that too… We always want to make sure that the opportunities for someone who is a career starter are always compensated realistically in terms of what the value exchange is,” Haber said. She added that the team reviews all the listings before they go live.

Image Credits: Home From College

Another way that Home From College caters to Gen Z and stands apart from other career sites is its interview feature where students answer questions from real companies, which they can post to their profiles. For instance, “If you had to describe your personal brand in one sentence, what would it be?” or “What role do you play in a group setting?”

In addition, the platform lets students show off their personality with fun cover designs for their profiles and colorful about pages that explain their background, experience, and what they’re looking for.

Students can also see the number of times companies have viewed their résumés and the total profile views they get on a weekly and monthly basis. Companies see a similar dashboard that tracks how many applicants are being reviewed and the number of contracts that have been signed.

Students can also receive messages from companies, giving them an opportunity to form connections with future employers.

“I actually get to talk to different people from these brands, whereas, with other platforms that I have tried, it’s a message that I put out or an application I’ve sent into an abyss that I never really hear back from,” Estevez added.

Home From College is also competing with design tools like Canva with its newest feature, “Resume Studio.” Although the templates offered on Home From College are arguably less advanced than Canva templates, they serve as a starting point for students who may have never made a professional résumé before. The résumé builder is still in beta, so the selection will likely improve over time.

Image Credits: Home From College

Home From College is free for students and has three subscription tiers for companies: Starter ($99 per month), Growth Mode ($199 per month) and Enterprise (price varies). Students are paid directly through Home From College’s platform and companies are charged a 20% service fee on top of each invoice price.

The platform has over 100,000 users. Home From College has helped facilitate “thousands and thousands” of hires, said Haber.

Home From College mainly caters to people just starting out in their careers, but the company wants to expand its product offerings to people who have been in the workforce for ten years or less.

The company previously raised $1.5 million from PEAK6 and angel investors.


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