Startups

Upskilling company GoCoach is closing a ‘mini’ Series A to up its capacity

The four-year-old Philly company has raised $8.5 million in the last year to take its headcount from two to nearly 30.

Kristy McCann Flynn.

(Courtesy photo)

After a year of high employee turnover and resignations across industries, companies are scrambling to find effective retention strategies.

One bet some companies are making is investing in their employees by upskilling — training existing workers for promoted roles to keep them in house. It’s a trend Kristy McCann Flynn, CEO and cofounder of coach marketplace and learning experience platform GoCoach, has been seeing over the last year or so, especially amid downturns in the economy.

“Companies are going to need to do more with less,” she told Technical.ly.

The four-year-old company first launched in New York, but McCann Flynn moved HQ operations to her hometown of Philadelphia about a year in. In the last year, demand for the 2020 RealLIST Startups honoree’s SaaS and customer-facing services have skyrocketed, and the company has grown from two people to about 22, she said. GoCoach uses a network of career coaches to meet the needs of clients, whether that’s in business strategy for executives, management training for earlier employees, or training in a specific skill.

The company had raised a $3.5 million round in the fall, but needed to continue hiring, McCann Flynn said. The company is working on closing a $5 million “mini Series A” round this month, though the CEO said she isn’t yet able to say which investors are participating. With the added talent — the remote-first company is expected to be about 30 people by the end of the year — the team has moved tech, product and marketing in-house. GoCoach will also adding to sales, account management and marketing teams with the continued hires this year, McCann Flynn said.

GoCoach has also made some partnerships with workforce development organizations, including the nonprofit University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). The company will supplement WPSI’s work in increasing access to jobs and career opportunities for underemployed Philadelphians with five 30-minute sessions with GoCoach’s network of coaches for each WPSI participant, McCann Flynn said. This coaching will happen over three months: once a week for three weeks, then once a month for the following two months.

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“At the Skills Initiative, we’re constantly striving to offer our program participants more tools to help them succeed in their career journeys,” WPSI Managing Director Caitlin Garozzo said in a statement. “Because no two participants’ needs are the same, we’re excited by this partnership with GoCoach and the flexibility it offers to help connect our participants and alumni to industry professionals who can guide them to success.”

In March, the orgs piloted the program with 45 participants, and Garozzo expects to offer coaching to more than 200 people over the next year.

In the last few years, McCann Flynn said she’s seen the rise in coaching for just about everything. But GoCoach is aiming to be specific in its trajectory for clients.

“Upskilling is happening, and we’ve been seeing this since even before COVID started,” she said. “Learning and development is no longer a nice to have, it’s a need to have.”

Companies: GoCoach
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