Fresno-based Bitwise Industries is expanding again, thanks to an $80 million investment led by the Kapor Center and Motley Fool and assisted by Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Growth Equity business and Citibank.
The investment will support Bitwise’s move to the South Side of Chicago, a traditionally underserved and underfinanced part of the nation’s third-largest city.
“This latest raise, led by a group of distinguished investors, acknowledges the role technology plays in driving economic impact in previously underserved communities, validates our model and makes it possible for us to roll out our proven approach into other parts of the country,” Bitwise Industries co-CEO and co-founder Jake Soberal said in a news release. “Bitwise has been an agent of transformation for cities and people alike, delivering unmatched results for the tech industry, businesses, and the communities we serve.”
The investment also will drive company growth in existing locations, which includes campuses in Fresno, Merced, Bakersfield, and Toledo, Ohio, and upcoming campuses in Oakland, Las Cruces, New Mexico, El Paso, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and Greeley, Colorado.
The company specializes in providing technology training in underserved communities.
The investment from Goldman Sachs is part of the firm’s One Million Black Women initiative that aims to provide more job creation and workforce advancement opportunities for Black women.
The Kapor Center and Kapor Capital are Bitwise investors and are led by Mitch Kapor, a Bitwise board member.
Both the Kapor Center and Kapor Capital “recognize Bitwise’s major accomplishments in closing gaps of participation in the tech ecosystem and transforming the economies of underestimated cities across the nation, now expanding to the South Side of Chicago,” Kapor said in the Bitwise news release.
A 6,000-square-foot building on South Chicago Avenue in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing community will serve as a temporary home while Bitwise finalizes a permanent space. Bitwise will operate in partnership with nearby Comer Education Campus, which contains the Gary Comer Youth Center, a college prep middle and high school, an urban farm, and an affordable housing initiative.
Bitwise Industries has helped support the creation of more than 15,000 jobs in one of its cities, accounting for more than $250 million in aggregated wages — mostly to women and people of color — and the growth of the city’s gross domestic product by more than 1% yearly.