Passage lands C$40 Million in Seed Funding to Address Canada’s Skilled Workers Shortage
EdTech founder’s newest venture removes financial barriers for immigrants entering fields with critical worker scarcities
KITCHENER, ONT., June 27, 2023 – A new company that seeks to match talented immigrants to life-changing educational and career opportunities led by Canadian tech entrepreneur Martin Basiri, has secured C$40-million (US$30M) in a seed funding round led by Drive Capital with participation from: Garage Capital, Panache Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Golden Ventures, and Think+ Ventures.
Announced today on-stage at Collision, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, Passage is not Basiri’s first foray in the EdTech Space. Basiri is the Co-Founder and former CEO of ApplyBoard - an organization that grew to be the largest study abroad platform in the world under his leadership.
“At a time when our country struggles to fill critical jobs in STEM, bioscience, manufacturing, cybersecurity, health care, trades, and more, we know that there is a pool of dedicated talent globally who wish to study and work in Canada yet lack the financial means to do so. Our mission at Passage is to provide access to life changing educational and career opportunities,” said Basiri who came from Iran to study in Canada in 2010. “Passage’s platform empowers immigrants to access opportunities by matching their talents with Canada’s most crucial workforce needs. Passage then works to provide financial solutions and connect them to the logistical support they need in their transformational journeys to a life in Canada.”
"An investment like the one we are making in Passage is an investment in Canada’s future," said Nick Solaro, Partner at Drive Capital. "With thousands of jobs sitting unfilled in the economy, affecting goods and services Canadians need, Canada is facing a socio-economic crisis that must be addressed. Martin and his talented team are doing just that. Passage will serve the best talent in the world – while also serving Canada.”
This round of seed funding will support Passage as it builds out its operational capacity and further develops its technological platform. In addition, it will also help Passage execute its first pilot project - which aims to help more than 100 female-identifying students from Afghanistan access Canadian educational opportunities with clear career paths to fields facing acute worker shortages across the nation.
For more information about Passage, visit www.passage.com