Why We Invested in Mia Share

Skilled trade workers are the backbone of our economy. Without plumbers, electricians, welders, masons, construction workers, mechanics, and so many others, our nation’s infrastructure would fall apart. These jobs are in high demand – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that there are more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs yet to be filled as of August 2023, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of electricians will grow six percent from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. 

As tuition costs rise amid a challenging labor market, an increasing number of young people are choosing to pursue trade and technical careers.

Research from the National Student Clearinghouse found that matriculation at four-year colleges and universities has declined over the past few years, but enrollment in two-year skilled trade programs has increased, with significant jumps in construction (+19.3%), precision and production (+16.7%), mechanic and repair (+11.5%), and culinary (+12.7%) studies. 

These employment and enrollment trends – along with a number of other factors – are what led us to make a seed investment in Mia Share, a full-stack payments solution designed to meet the tuition management and payment needs of the more than 10,000 trade and technical schools across the country. Mia Share allows schools to utilize multiple payment options and plans to easily collect and manage student funds. Schools also have access to advanced insights on performance metrics like applications, enrollment, attrition, and accounts receivable. 

When we first met Josh Haghani, CEO and founder of Mia Share, the market opportunity immediately clicked for us. Much like our recent investments in fintech infrastructure for the waste management and advanced manufacturing industries (CurbWaste and MakersHub, respectively), administrators at trade and technical schools are still collecting tuition payments via cash or check, and then manually tracking them in their accounting system. The majority of schools lack the administrative infrastructure to manage the influx of tuition payments that come with increased enrollment. And the overall opportunity is massive, with trade and technical schools generating an estimated $16.8 billion in revenue over the past five years, per IBISWorld

From a business perspective, we were impressed by the Mia Share product and the market traction they achieved in just three years. The company has built and managed custom tuition solutions for more than 200 schools and facilitated payments from more than 10,000 students across the country. We also found it compelling that Mia Share has created an easy-to-use portal for students that manages their application status, payment history, payment plans, and upcoming payments. With younger, digitally native students turning to trade and technical careers, institutions need to eliminate friction and make it easy to submit tuition payments.

Josh’s passion for trade and technical careers stood out to us from the beginning. His deep respect for skilled labor and his commitment to improving the lives of others gave us confidence that he is uniquely qualified to build and develop Mia Share into the payments platform of choice for trade school administrators. When you ask Josh what he’s most proud of, he’ll tell you that it’s being able to help tens of thousands of students increase their collective lifetime earning potential to the tune of $5.6 billion. It’s an incredible achievement, and even more impressive when you consider how many more people Mia Share has yet to reach.
All of these reasons are why we’re proud to have led Mia Share’s recent $6.5 million seed round, with participation from CreativeCo Capital, Nine Four Ventures, Innovating Capital, and WYVC Fund (Wyoming Business Council). Josh and the team at Mia Share continue to put in the work of building and scaling their business, and we’re here to support them every step of the way.

Prior to joining TTV, Lizzie was a Senior Vice President at Citi Ventures, the corporate strategic investment arm of Citibank. At Citi Ventures, Lizzie helped launch and lead the development of the digital asset strategy resulting in a new investment category. In addition, Lizzie helped lead investments in fintech including and support portfolio companies through a strategic partnership with Citi. Lizzie is passionate about working...