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Behind the Term Sheet: Meet Henry, Latam’s Tech Bootcamp Allowing Anyone Access to Higher Education

By: Federico Gómez Romero, Seaya Cathay Latam

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of almost every industry at a pace we’ve never seen before. According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives, the share of digital or digitally enabled products in companies’ portfolios has accelerated by a shocking 7 years in a matter of months. The backbone supporting this global change is tech teams and the demand is not easy to meet. Hiring full-stack developers, data scientists and security experts has always been a challenge, and in light of this new scenario, expensive and lengthy traditional education is not the answer to the problem.

A new wave of edtech startups is well positioned to help supply the rising demand — and investors are taking note. VC-backed companies in the education space raised more than $20B last year — and funding doesn’t seem be slowing down. We might just be at the beginning of the emergence of a major industry.

Source: Crunchbase

Convinced that Latin America will become one of the main hubs for tech talent, we recently launched the $125M Seaya Cathay Latam Fund. And today, we’re pleased to share our investment in Henry, co-leading its $10M series A with Kayyak Ventures to accelerate the region’s transition to a more equal society with access to high-quality education for all.

Through previous investments in companies like LeWagon and Wuolah, both Cathay and Seaya have the sector experience we’re now bringing to Henry. This marks our joint platform’s 2nd investment — following Xepelin — in an effort to continue supporting entrepreneurs that will have a long lasting impact on Latam.

Latin America to become tech talent hub

Tech bootcamps like Henry train students to meet the rapidly growing need for talent. The demand for computer science skills has increased substantially in recent years and only continues to grow. The total number of technology-oriented jobs may increase nearly five-fold by 2025, rising from 41M in 2020 to 190M.

Source: Henry based on Microsoft Data Science & LinkedIn data

In Latam, where big infrastructure inefficiencies can only be solved with technology, the need for digital talent only becomes more obvious. It is no surprise then that it’s become the world’s fastest-growing region for venture funding. In 2021, venture and technology growth investors poured an estimated $19.5B into the region, per Crunchbase data.

With a thriving startup ecosystem, and traditional industries running behind digitalization, Henry’s mission to supply a growing internal market could make Latam the most attractive place for offshore hiring due to lower relative prices, convenient time zones, English proficiency and quality technical capabilities. According to a recent report from Deel, hiring from international companies into Latam has grown an impressive 156% from July to December 2021 alone — making it the most sought after location-based developer role in the world.

Henry: Using ISAs to bring higher education to the region

Henry is a talent marketplace built around a tech bootcamp that offers courses through an Income Sharing Agreement (“ISA”) scheme. The company identifies people with high potential regardless of their background, trains them, and helps them get a job. Students do not have to pay anything upfront, and only start paying a percentage of their salaries once they graduate and get a high-earning job. At $4,000, Henry’s courses are priced significantly lower than technical college and university programs, and at the low end of other international bootcamps, and with its ISA offering, the company ensures that tuition is not a barrier to entry.

Henry is also unique in its marketplace model, where companies can access top tech talent with no hiring fees. The job placement rate is the most important metric of business success and is the result of the whole team’s performance. The dedicated outcomes team oversees the last mile of this process, helping students land a job, in some of the largest tech companies in the region (e.g., MercadoLibre, Globant, Auth0) and around the world.

Henry is based on the belief that anyone with the willingness to learn can go through its program, and therefore their students come from all sorts of backgrounds — from chemical engineers wanting to get into tech, to people who lost their job during COVID, to gig-economy workers that end up coding for employers. The admissions funnel is designed to identify applicants that can succeed both in Henry and the larger tech Industry.

The company was launched in March of 2020 in Argentina by Martin Borchardt and his team, providing a full-stack developer course. It is now enrolling more than 600 students per month from Mexico to Argentina, and recently launched its second course — career in Data Science.

What makes Henry different from other Latam edtechs is that its product is designed such that the company and its students are working toward the same goal: optimizing graduates’ income. Through the ISA structure, Henry invests in its students’ success and thus has every incentive to ensure that the curriculum quality and job placement services remain best-in-class as they scale. Similarly, students are motivated to learn and earn as much as possible, driving them to achieve goals that also support Henry’s revenue and growth.

With only 2 years in the market, the company already has impressive figures that speak to Henry’s value:

  • +5,000 students joined Henry
  • +90% of the graduates get a job in tech in 6 months after finishing the program
  • +1,000 companies of all sizes and regions are hiring Henry graduates
  • 4x average increase in salary after graduating

Parting thoughts: strong purpose leads to strong returns

At Seaya Cathay Latam, we’re convinced that companies with a long-term sustainable mission provide better financial returns, attract top talent and are more resilient in the face of adversity. We look for those impact-driven leaders with high standards seeking out both prosperity and purpose, those long-term thinkers focused on responsible scaling, who are solving real problems, redefining industries, and promoting sustainable development. Martin and the whole Henry team are a living proof of that.

The company is excited about its ability to provide an opportunity to talented individuals who haven’t previously had the means to pursue technical education and is committed to ensuring that the student body remains socioeconomically diverse as the company scales.

We’re honored to partner with this amazing company in its honest mission to improve Latam’s education — making it available to everyone — and are confident that Henry can become a major player in an industry that is going through a pivotal moment in history.

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