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Guild Education raises $21 million to help wage workers pay for higher education

The Denver-based company partners with large companies and universities to offer hourly workers education benefits and tuition reimbursement.

More than 64 million adults in the U.S. don’t have a college education while 31 million have enrolled but not completed their studies. Guild’s model helps companies design tuition and reimbursement benefits around frontline workers.

Most Fortune 1000 companies offer tuition assistance — to white-collar workers. “When we work with a company, it’s normally the first time they are thinking, ‘This isn’t just for accountants who are earning MBA, this could be for our frontline folks who are working hourly,’” Guild’s founder Rachel Carlson said in an interview.

One of its partners, Chipotle, offers $5,250 in education benefits to workers who have been there for a year or occupy a frontline manager role. Guild’s has raised a total of $31.5 million.

Its latest round, a Series B, was led by Bessemer Ventures, with backing from Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal, and Cowboy Ventures.

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