Tim Armstrong, the former CEO and chairman of AOL and a former Google executive, has invested $2 million in Pittsburgh-based Niche.

By   – Senior Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times

A big name in tech circles is providing his expertise plus a $2 million investment to a Pittsburgh company.

Niche, developer of a recruitment platform that helped more than 60 million people chose their school or neighborhood last year, on Thursday said that Tim Armstrong invested $2 million in its $8.6 million Series B financing round and has become an advisor to the company.

Armstrong, now CEO and founder of the newly launched dtx company, was formerly CEO of AOL/Yahoo/Oath and president of the Americas at Google.

“As Millennials move into parenthood and Gen Z goes off to college, the decision-making process around how and why we choose schools, neighborhoods and workplaces is dramatically changing,” Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “Niche’s platform is ahead of this shift, empowering consumers with greater insight and helping schools thrive in an environment of increased competition.”

Other investors in Niche’s funding round are Allen & Co. and Grit Capital Partners, both based in New York.

Niche’s founder and CEO Luke Skurman launched the company with colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. Originally called College Prowler, it rebranded as Niche in fall 2013 and expanded its reach. Skurman was not immediately available for comment.

Niche analyzes dozens of data sets and hundreds of millions of ratings and reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards and profiles for every K-12 school, college, neighborhood and major employer in America. Sales for its subscription recruiting platform grew 200 percent in 2018, Niche said, and it now helps more than 800 client schools find best-fit students.