Sounding Board’s Hyper-growth Accelerates $30M Series B funding for leadership coaching pioneer
JAZZ Venture Partners leads latest round for Sounding Board as companies focus on building strong leadership pipelines
Aliso Viejo – December 1, 2021 – 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 Marketing of Udemy), Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (Founder of theBoardlist), and Tammy Aguillon (Area VP @ 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 today – 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 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,” noted 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.”
“Finding scalable and customizable solutions for developing leaders is challenging in the most perfect of environments; finding something that will work within a hypergrowth, a fintech company is even harder,” noted 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 percent 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 is driven by capable leadership, having a strong bench of leaders has become a critical competitive advantage,” added Tao. “Our prediction is that within 5 years, every company will require technology to enable coaching at scale and that Sounding Board will be the company powering it.”
About Sounding Board
Sounding Board, Inc. is the industry leader in scalable leadership coaching, with the world’s first customizable leadership coaching platform that combines technology and coaching to drive measurable business impact for global enterprises. The Coaching Management System (CMS) is designed to lift the administrative burden for organizations, making leadership coaching easier to deliver, manage, measure, and scale. With a globally managed network of world-class coaches covering over 60 countries and 15+ languages, Sounding Board works with enterprise and hypergrowth client-partners like Chime, Zoom, Dropbox, Cloudera, VMware, Mozilla, Bloomberg, Plaid, and UserTesting among others to develop coaching solutions designed to drive leadership development and organizational success. In 2021, Co-Founders Christine Tao and Lori Mazan were named EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America Class of 2021. Sounding Board was named among the GSV EdTech 150 as one of 2021’s Most Transformational Growth Companies in Digital Learning and a GOLD GLOBEE® WINNER for Career and Workforce Readiness Solution. For more information, visit www.soundingboardinc.com
About JAZZ Venture Partners
JAZZ Venture Partners invests in companies that extend the boundaries of human performance — improving how we live, learn, work, play, and experience the world. Our portfolio companies are unlocking human potential in health, mind-body wellness, accelerated learning and training, sports, entertainment, and the enterprise. For more information visit www.jazzvp.com