Together, a software company that brings mentors and mentees, well… together, has raised $6.2 million CAD ($5 million USD). AltaIR Capital led the round with participation from TRAC, Garage Capital, Rebel Fund, and Funders Club.
Together plans to use the funds to continue building out its product, as well as to grow its engineering team in order to serve more customers. The startup also wants to add to its sales and marketing team.
“Most employee learning happens socially, and critical informal learning opportunities are lost when everyone’s remote.”
-Nathan Goldstein, Together
The startup helps learning and development teams in companies run a best-practice mentoring program for employees. It captures everyone’s areas for development and goals, matches them with the most relevant mentor within their company, and guides and tracks relationships.
The funding round closed in December. Igor Ryabenkiy, a managing partner from AltaIR, is joining Together’s board.
“We want to be the place where anyone comes for advice or learning on a weekly basis for employees,” company co-founder Nathan Goldstein told BetaKit.
“The important distinction with our software versus any other previous tools is that we’re completely internal to the company,” Goldstein said. “We’re not a consumer play where you find a mentor, just out there on the internet. These are the people at your company with highly relevant advice for you.”
According to Goldstein, the pandemic disrupted how employees work, and the biggest shock was not being able to see their co-workers every day. “Because of this, employee learning went into a crisis,” he said. “It is well known that most employee learning happens socially, and critical informal learning opportunities are lost when everyone’s remote.”
Goldstein believes employees need more meaningful ways to connect and learn, and said the pandemic, which “broke” employee learning, also created an opportunity.
Together promotes employee to employee learning through its software, matching employees to ensure everyone has a peer mentor or expert at their company to learn from. Some examples Goldstein gives are a junior employee starting at a company who is looking to have a mentor help with onboarding, or a first-time manager learning from a more experienced one.
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Goldstein said, Together is building a better way to learn, and obviously its investors agreed. He noted that the investors have experience in B2B and SaaS, as well as scaling to large markets, and said he’s looking forward to replicating that trajectory with them.
Currently, the startup employs 15, but with the new capital Together wants to immediately grow to 25 to 30 people, and within the next two years hopes to hit 50.
Goldstein and his co-founder, Matthew Reeves, previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, which they said had great career development programs. It inspired them to want to present first-class career development to companies around the world.
“So we began thinking about how do we do that with software,” Goldstein said. They talked to human resource officers and vice presidents of HR to learn what the market was looking for, and interested in.
Together participated in Y Combinator in 2019, and then subsequently raised a $1.8 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) seed round.
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The startup began focusing on enterprise companies with more than 1,000 employees, deploying its software in firms such as Airbnb, Discovery Channel, Kellogg, and Heineken. But now, it’s moving toward the mid-market, targeting firms with more than 250 employees, and including a new pre-trial model.
Initially, Together’s product had a lot of value when the size of a company’s network was large, according to Goldstein. For example, Airbnb’s team in India might work with its San Francisco team.
“What we’re finding now is that the organization of these learning events and learning sessions is a huge value-add to even smaller companies as well, ” Goldstein said. “And so we’d like to help team leads in these smaller companies as well as the employees themselves.”
To date, Together has focused on North American and United Kingdom markets, but because they serve a lot of multinational companies, its user base extends to Japan, Africa, and elsewhere around the world, according to Goldstein.
“We’re ready for customers that are international,” he said. “We’re ready for all customers at this point.”
With files from Josh Scott.
Feature image courtesy of Together