Crypto-savvy developers are rare these days. Blockchain startups and protocols are battling to onboard and train more engineers – an even tougher endeavor in a world where developing on Ethereum versus Solana versus Polkadot versus another blockchain may require completely different programming skills.
London, UK-based startup Encode Club, founded in 2020, trained 15,000 developers last year through its programming, CEO and co-founder Anthony Beaumont told TechCrunch in an interview.
Encode hosts online and in-person workshops, bootcamps, and hackathons around the world in an effort to provide a recruitment pipeline for its long-term partners, which it says include some of the most active blockchain protocols – Avalanche, Polkadot, Solana and Polygon, to name a few. The company is chain-agnostic in its training, teaching a wide range of programming languages applicable to crypto, including Solidity and Rust, Beaumont said.
Encode’s partners pay the company to hire directly from its talent pool, Beaumont said. Some also sponsor events that Encode organizes and manages. The startup, which employs 15 people, made $2 million in revenue last year, mostly from six- and seven-figure hiring deals with web3 companies, according to Beaumont.
More than 60 venture-backed blockchain startups, including NFT project 0xmons and Paradigm-backed DeFi protocol Euler Finance, have had their founders participate in Encode’s programs. Although the company is profitable, Beaumont says, it just raised $5 million in seed funding from investors.
Lemniscap and Galaxy Digital led the round alongside Dragonfly Ventures, Folius Ventures, not3Lau Capital, Ascensive Assets and angel investors including SolBigBrain, Stefan George of Gnosis, Jordan and Kain Warwick of Synthetix, Anton Bukov of 1inch and Jason Choi , according to Encode.
“Honestly, we have been overwhelmed with the demand for our services, hosting events with us to train developers, hackathons and boot camps. Recruitment is a big thing for us these days that we just want grow as quickly as possible, and fundraising was the way to do that,” Beaumont said.
More than half of Encode’s coding bootcamp attendees, most of whom are experienced web2 programmers looking to make the switch to web3, land crypto jobs in the end, Beaumont estimated. In contrast, Insider reported that the main coding boot camp Lambda School has a 30% placement rate – well below what the company officially advertises.
Part of Encode’s success, Beaumont said, is because he vets potential bootcamp attendees to ensure his students are well-equipped to benefit from his programming.
“We do a sort of in-depth interview and screening process, despite the scale [of the program]”Beaumont said.
After the program, the Encode team continues to track student results so they can be effective at matching their students with job opportunities, Beaumont added.
“If you follow our program, we kind of have your genome map. We’ve tracked every event you’ve ever done. We’ll know everything about you, from your GitHub to your LinkedIn to any hackathon projects you’ve ever done, so we can really spot talent, give them the attention they need, and then make sure they have a good time and are off to achieve great things,” said Beaumont.