Sounding Board’s Hypergrowth Accelerates $30 Million Series B Funding for Leadership Coaching Pioneer
- JAZZ Venture Partners leads latest round for Sounding Board as companies focus on building strong leadership pipelines
Sounding Board, Inc, the first customizable leadership coaching platform that combines technology and coaching to drive measurable business impact, announced the close of its $30M Series B funding. This announcement comes just months after closing an oversubscribed Series A earlier this year. New lead investor, JAZZ Venture Partners, is joined by Sounding Board’s existing investors Canaan, Bloomberg Beta and Correlation Partners. The female-founded company also added investors Gaingels, Engage.vc and an all-star panel of women business leaders passionate about the impact of coaching, including Deb Liu (CEO of Ancestry.com), Yvonne Chen (former VP of Marketing of Udemy), Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (Founder of theBoardlist) and Tammy Aguillon (Area VP at DocuSign), underscoring Sounding Board’s commitment to diverse leaders and voices.
“We are excited to be a part of the team at Sounding Board that is unlocking human performance in the workplace and ensuring that each and every employee can live up to their full potential,” notes John Spinale, Managing Partner for JAZZ Venture Partners, who joins the Board of Directors for Sounding Board. “At JAZZ Venture Partners, we believe that leadership coaching is the next frontier to the evolution of employee development, employee productivity and ultimately employee happiness. We could not be more proud to invest in the future of Sounding Board’s vision to help develop the world’s greatest leaders.”
Sounding Board solves the most critical challenge facing organizations the ability to quickly develop leaders to drive measurable business impact during times of rapid change. As a result, demand for scalable leadership coaching has exploded, with annual bookings increasing more than 350%, year over year, enterprise customer NRR over 200%, and sequential growth for the past seven quarters. The latest Series B funding enables Sounding Board to accelerate the rollout of their coaching management system for organizations looking to manage all of their coaching engagements on one unified platform, bringing data, transparency and accountability to their leadership programs. While the profession of coaching has grown in popularity, Sounding Board’s success is due to its focus on leadership coaching for talent development.
“The huge shift to remote work that began in 2020 simply exposed the urgent need to develop leaders virtually. Companies realized that they have to equip their managers and leaders with the right skills to lead their teams effectively through constant change,” says Christine Tao, Sounding Board CEO, who co-founded the company in 2016 with her-then executive coach, Lori Mazan.
With the launch of the Coaching Management System, Sounding Board gives organizations the ability to manage all their coaching engagements in one intelligent platform – whether they use Sounding Board leadership coaches, their internal coaches, or a combination.
“Our latest industry research confirms that the majority of organizations (71%) offer some form of leadership coaching, and most of them (67%) rely on a combination of internal and external coaches,” according to Mazan, Sounding Board’s co-founder, President & Chief Coaching Officer. “This can create an administrative nightmare, especially for talent & learning teams frequently tasked with doing more with fewer resources. Our Coaching Management System gives organizations access to the same powerful tools, data and reporting that we use here at Sounding Board to deliver consistent, high-quality coaching programs for our client partners around the world. Moreover, they can customize the coaching experience to align with their own leadership models to address specific leadership development needs.”
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“Finding scalable and customizable solutions for developing leaders is challenging in the most perfect of environments; finding something that will work within a hypergrowth, fintech company is even harder,” says Beth Steinberg, SVP People & Talent at Chime. “Since partnering with Sounding Board, they’ve been in lockstep with every team across the organization to develop our Chimers, providing immediate impact without compromising efficiency and quality. As Chime has scaled, Sounding Board has been our go-to coaching solution for developing our leaders at every level. In our recent engagement survey, we saw that most of our top-performing managers and leaders have taken part in leadership development programs, including Sounding Board. We believe that this proactive investment development is a big reason why we’ve been able to 10X our employee base in the last year while maintaining strong employee engagement and minimal attrition, even amidst The Great Resignation.”
According to a recently published study, 40% of U.S. workers either changed jobs, managers or roles in 2020 (Bersin, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in these employment changes, with companies having to rebalance and redeploy talent to survive the early stages of the pandemic.
“Because enterprise growth and innovation are driven by capable leadership, having a strong bench of leaders has become a critical competitive advantage,” adds Tao. “Our prediction is that within five years, every company will require technology to enable coaching at scale and that Sounding Board will be the company powering it.”
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