DENVER, July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Guild Education, a leading education benefits platform, today announces the close of $40 million in Series C funding led by Felicis Ventures, with additional investment from Rethink Impact & Education, Salesforce Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Workday Ventures. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal, and Cowboy Ventures joined the round. Wesley Chan, Managing Director at Felicis Ventures, will also join Guild's board.
The financing round will support Guild's growing footprint in the Fortune 1000, helping leading companies offer Education as a Benefit to their workforces. To date, Guild works with top US employers such as Walmart, Discover Financial Services, Lowe's, Taco Bell, and Lyft, with plans to expand their reach and impact in coming years. Working with those large employers supports Guild's mission to serve the 64 million working adults in the US who need to earn a higher education credential or degree.
"The challenge of educating America's workforce has never been greater," said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education. "Amidst record-low unemployment and impending automation, both employers and employees are fearful of how to prepare themselves for the future of work. Offering education as a benefit through Guild helps companies attract and retain employees for today's job, while helping them upskill for the jobs of tomorrow."
Guild's technology platform helps connect large employers and their workforces with top, nonprofit universities that focus on serving the needs of working adults. Guild's Education Network offers a range of programs from high school completion and vocation programs through bachelor's and master's degrees. Additionally, Guild's team of retention coaches and advisors help each employee navigate the path back to school, with support from day one through graduation. The differentiated retention coaching available through Guild is a key component of the company's success increasing employee retention rates, as featured in Chipotle's 89 percent annual retention rate for their Guild participants.
According to the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, over 95 percent of jobs created since the 2009 recession have gone to workers with at least some college education. For incumbent workers in sectors like retail, healthcare, and financial services, with jobs in call centers and clinics, the need for new skills has never been stronger. And yet, an employee's ability to return to school is too often hindered by the financial and opportunity cost of fitting classes into a life full of work and family responsibilities. Guild's platform and coaching, coupled with financial support from a company, are transforming how average Americans advance their education and career.
"Guild Education is something I wish I had when I was in school," says Wesley Chan, Managing Director at Felicis Ventures. "I faced the same challenges coming from a low income family. I navigated financial aid on my own, and worked several jobs while taking a full course load to make ends meet. Guild Education works with companies to remove those same frictions and financial burdens for millions of Americans who believe college is out of reach. I made it through college due to a series of wonderful accidents, and my hope is through Guild Education, the path to graduation will become less of an accident for the millions of working adults who think college is not possible for them."
Guild is currently available to over 2.5M working adults, with access to classes, programs and degrees at over 90 universities and learning providers. To learn more about Guild Education or join their marketplace of employers and universities, visit www.guildeducation.com.
About Guild Education:
Guild is transforming the way companies offer Education as a Benefit to their workers. Guild's Education Benefits Platform provides technology that makes offering education benefits and tuition reimbursement an easy choice for leading companies, helping HR leaders turn their education cost centers into a positive ROI. Guild's Education Network of online, nonprofit universities and learning providers offers a range of programs from GEDs through bachelor's and master's degrees, along with advising and retention coaching to help each student navigate the worlds of work and college.
About Felicis Ventures:
Felicis Ventures is a boutique venture fund, which focuses on backing the world's iconic companies of today and tomorrow, including Dollar Shave Club, Shopify, Adyen, Warby Parker, Fitbit, and Credit Karma. Felicis focuses on investing in 5 key areas – mobile, e-commerce, enterprise, education and health – and groundbreaking technologies, such as AI, 3D imaging, bio informatics and connected devices. At Felicis, each relationship with portfolio companies is customized in a way that is meaningful and critical for them. In these partnerships with founders, Felicis delivers high value help where needed to support successful companies.
About Salesforce Ventures:
Salesforce is the fastest growing top five enterprise software company and the #1 CRM provider globally. Salesforce Ventures—the company's corporate investment group—invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform, helping companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding as well as access to the world's largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of Salesforce's innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage Salesforce's expertise in corporate philanthropy by joining Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 275 enterprise cloud startups in 17 different countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.
SOURCE Guild Education