Together lands C$6.2 million to match mentors and mentees in companies

The Y Combinator graduate speaks to Airbnb, Discovery Channel.

Together, a software company that brings mentors and mentees together, well…together, raised C$6.2 million (US$5 million). AltaIR Capital led the round with participation from TRAC, Garage Capital, Rebel Fund and Funders Club.

Together plans to use the funds to continue developing its product, as well as to grow its team of engineers to serve more customers. The startup also wants to strengthen its sales and marketing team.

“Most employee learning happens socially, and critical informal learning opportunities are lost when everyone is remote.”
-Nathan Goldstein, Ensemble

The startup helps corporate learning and development teams run a best-practice mentorship program for employees. It captures everyone’s areas of development and goals, matches them with the most relevant mentor within their company, and guides and tracks relationships.

The funding round ended in December. Igor Ryabenkiy, Managing Partner of AltaIR, joins Together’s Board of Directors.

“We want to be the place where anyone comes to ask for advice or learn every week for employees,” company co-founder Nathan Goldstein told BetaKit.

“The important distinction with our software over any previous tool is that we are completely in-house,” Goldstein said. “We’re not a consumer game where you find a mentor, just out there on the internet. These are the people in your business who have very relevant advice for you. »

According to Goldstein, the pandemic has disrupted the way employees work, and the biggest shock has been not being able to see their co-workers every day. “Because of this, employee learning has gone into crisis,” he said. “It’s well known that most employee learning happens socially, and critical informal learning opportunities are lost when everyone is remote.”

Goldstein believes employees need more meaningful ways to connect and learn, and said the pandemic, which has “broken” employee learning, has also created an opportunity.

Together promotes employee-to-employee learning through its software, pairing employees to ensure everyone has a peer mentor or expert in their company to learn from. Some examples given by Goldstein are a junior employee starting out in a company looking for an onboarding mentor, or a first manager learning from a more experienced one.

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Goldstein said, “Ensemble is building a better way to learn, and obviously its investors were on board. He noted that investors have experience in B2B and SaaS, as well as setting across major markets, and said he looked forward to replicating that trajectory with them.

Currently, the startup employs 15 people, but with the new capital, Together wants to immediately grow to 25-30 people, and in the next two years hopes to reach 50.

Goldstein and his co-founder, Matthew Reeves, previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, which they said had excellent career development programs. This inspired them to want to present top-notch career development to companies around the world.

“So we started thinking about how to do that with software,” Goldstein said. They spoke to HR managers and VPs of HR to find out what the market was looking for and interested in.

Together competed in Y Combinator in 2019 and subsequently raised a C$1.8 million (US$1.5 million) seed round.

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The startup began focusing on companies with more than 1,000 employees, rolling out its software to companies including Airbnb, Discovery Channel, Kellogg, and Heineken. But now it’s heading into the middle market, targeting businesses 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, the Airbnb team in India could work with their team in San Francisco.

“What we’re seeing now is that hosting these learning events and learning sessions is a huge value for even smaller businesses as well,” Goldstein said. “So we would like to help the team leaders in these small companies as well as the employees themselves.”

To date, Together has focused on the North American and UK markets, but since they serve many multinationals, its user base extends to Japan, Africa and elsewhere in the world, according to Goldstein.

“We are ready for international customers,” he said. “We are ready for all customers at this point.”

With files from Josh Scott.

Feature image courtesy of Together

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