Sounding Board’s Hyper-growth Accelerates $30M Series B funding for leadership coaching pioneer

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.

Sounding Board’s Hyper-growth Accelerates $30M Series B funding for leadership coaching pioneer 1

“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.

Sounding Board’s Hyper-growth Accelerates $30M Series B funding for leadership coaching pioneer 2

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

Media Contacts

Carol Levey, Sounding Board, Inc. press@soundingboardinc.com
Kate Achille, The Devon Group kate@devonpr.com

Subscribe to Our
Newsletter

Stay up to date with new releases, features, how-tos, leadership tips, and more. (Don’t worry, we won’t flood your inbox or share your address.)
REQUEST A DEMO

We Develop The World's Most Impactful Leaders

Sounding Board offers virtual and scalable enterprise learning solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing work environments. Powered by behavioral science and core leadership capabilities, our proven coaching methodology drives measurable business impact.

Niall MacGearailt

SVP of Finance
Niall MacGearailt leads Sounding Board’s finance division as the SVP of Finance and Operations. Niall earned a solid track record of improving P&L and operational expense management for leading companies such as Whirlpool, Logitech, Avaya and most recently Soraa, where he prepared the business for acquisition by leading hi-tech lighting company, Ecosense. In his role, he is responsible for building and leading the finance & relevant operations functions for the company.

Ron Buell

VP of Engineering
Ron Buell is the VP of Engineering at Sounding Board and an accomplished software professional with extensive experience in leadership, software engineering, project management, and product management. Ron has led the development of highly scalable systems and applications across a variety of technologies for companies including OpenFeint (acquired by GREE), Rdio (acquired by Pandora), Lyris Technologies, and Lotus/IBM Software Group. In his role at Sounding Board, Buell is responsible for all engineering efforts in developing, deploying, and maintaining the enterprise software platform and team for the company.
Play Video
Play Video
Play Video

Piyush Gupta

Chief Product Officer

Piyush Gupta is Chief Product Officer at Sounding Board and champions the voice of customers and users with deep empathy. Piyush envisions Sounding Board to be the first window of coaching experience for professionals and leaders worldwide. His approach is deeply rooted in proven scientific research, modeling human behaviors, and data-informed insights to deliver mindset shifts and desired business outcomes for organizations at scale. He believes that a world-class UX is key to drive simplicity that will lead to millions of professionals to access coaching for their development.

Piyush co-invented the world’s first ‘landmark intelligent driving directions’ technology that led Google to redesign their routing algorithms for the Asian markets. For the next decade, he led two disruptive FinTech companies to the market leadership positions and delivered two award-winning products that serve more than 70 million users worldwide. His teams filed 20+ patents while he himself authored three patents. He is an active startup investor and advises selected AI-driven startups on business and product strategy. He is the recipient of the World Summit Award, one of the most prestigious international honors for product innovators. In addition, he is a James Swartz fellow, the most prestigious fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University funded by the founder of the iconic venture firm, Accel Partners.

Piyush holds an MS in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tommy Perkins

SVP OF SALES, PARTNERSHIP & CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

Most recently, Tommy was a Client Services Leader overseeing some of GP’s most prized accounts on a global level. His responsibilities included overall client growth strategy, retention, and satisfaction. He represented all of GP Strategies’ major business lines including leadership, coaching, and engagement, digital transformation, outsourced services, and technology implementation solutions.

Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

Learn How to Build Agile and Productive Leaders Now!

From leading remote workforces, building productive teams, to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, Sounding Board has virtual and scalable enterprise solutions that are urgently required to adapt to rapidly changing workplace environments.

Join our coaching team

Our expert coaches combine top notch coaching, business acumen and organizational savvy to truly become your leadership “Sounding Board”. Sounding Board coaches are all industry certified and strongly vetted going through a 3 step qualification process and receiving ongoing supervision and development.

Lori Mazan

Co-Founder & CCO Sounding Board, Inc.
Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
Lori has spent the last 25 years coaching C-Suite executives to leadership excellence. Many of those public and private company CEO’s expressed that they would have liked this caliber of coaching earlier in their careers. Inspired by these experiences, Lori joined with Christine to launch Sounding Board as a feedback-driven, cloud-based leadership coaching platform that could maintain best-in-class leadership coaching while lowering costs to make it affordable and scalable for leaders at every level of their careers.
Before founding Sounding Board, Lori received her Masters’ in Adult Educational Psychology/Counseling from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors’ in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Lori is an educator and has spent over 10 years as a professor of social psychology and group dynamics while acting as the interim Dean of Students at Holy Names University, She is certified by the industry’s gold standard, the Coaches Training Institute, and is a founding member of the Genentech Preferred Network of Coaches. Sounding Board is one of <3% of sole female founded startups receiving venture funding. In 2019 Sounding Board was selected as 1 of 7 startups (out of 100+ applicants) as part of SAP’s HR tech cohort, a group that represents the rising stars of the next-gen HR ecosystem.

Christine Tao

Co-Founder & CEO Sounding Board, Inc.
Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
Christine advises several startups, is a budding angel investor and is also a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, a foundation dedicated to investing in the success and sustainability of women entrepreneurs.
Prior to co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s publisher advertising business from 0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

Want to learn more about how Sounding Board can help your organization?

Simply fill out the form below and we will be in contact soon. If you are interested in becoming a Sounding Board Coach please visit our careers page.