CoachHub, a “talent development” platform that pairs employees with business coaches, has raised $30 million in a series B round of funding led by Draper Esprit.
Founded in 2018, Berlin-based CoachHub is a digital coaching platform that leverages an AI-based matching system to recommend the three best coaches for each individual. The coach and employee communicate through the CoachHub app through bi-weekly video calls, with learning assignments set for personal development. Disciplines span everything from leadership skills and resilience to time and stress management.
A data game
Analytics plays a major part of the platform. Employees can track their improvements and milestone hits through the CoachHub app, while HR teams can see how employees are progressing on their focus areas. Employee data is only provided to companies on an aggregate basis. “This ensures that individual employees are able to be open with their coaches without fear of their conversations coming back to their employers,” CoachHub cofounder Yannis Niebelschütz told VentureBeat. “But at the same time, HR teams can see average usage statistics, satisfactions ratings, and aggregate topics.”
This data can be useful in a number of ways for the employer. For example, if it shows that 90% of employees are focusing on stress management, then it’s clear that the majority of the workforce are probably feeling stressed in their roles. This data is can also be measured against timescales, so that companies can determine how effective a coaching program has been.
In terms of how AI fits into all of this, well, Niebelschütz said that it has assembled its own in-house team of data scientists who have built algorithms to ensure the best match between coach and “coachee.”
“When a coach applies, they enter lots of details about themselves, including gender, age, experience, background, and specialist topic,” he said. “When a coachee starts, they go through a coach-matching process that sees them answer a similar batch of questions.”
This initial part is fairly straightforward, involving proprietary algorithms to make the match. However, over time CoachHub collects data on how well the coaches and employees work together, and this is where machine learning kicks in to further improve the matching process.
“If, for example, we know that coaches from a particular background work exceptionally well with specific types of coachees, we are then in a position to make better matches in future if similar responses come through our initial coach-matching questionnaire,” Niebelschütz explained.
With millions of people continuing to work from home, platforms such as CoachHub are well-positioned to capitalize on this movement, as the service ensures that employers can keep their fingers on the pulse of their workforce and address any issues. Niebelschütz said that the pandemic has triggered a “huge surge in digital solutions for training and personal development,” with managers and HR professionals “desperately looking for support as they move more of their operations online.”
Elsewhere in the workforce management realm, HiBob last week raised $70 million to expand its data-driven HR platform, which includes tools to improve employee engagement, cultivate culture, and retain talent.
Prior to now, CoachHub had raised around $20 million, and with its latest cash injection — which included investments from HV Capital, Partech, Speedinvest, Signals Venture Capital, and RTP Global — the company said that it plans to double its number of certified coaches to more than 2,000 globally. It also plans to grow its team from 180 to 300 across the U.S., Europe, and Asia by the end of 2021.
The company added that it also expects to further develop its coaching lab, which meshes ML with “business intelligence” to push behavior research and development in business coaching.