Bravely, a NYC-based startup that provides career coaching to employees at all levels, announced Tuesday it raised $15 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Telescope Partners, and caps off a year of rapid growth.
Launched in 2017, Bravely is designed to provide the ease and openness of a conversation you may have with a friend or family member, with the professional guidance you can only get with a skilled practitioner, all on demand. The company’s global network of about 200 coaches, or “pros,” provide users with guidance on everything from navigating awkward conversations with a boss to priority and goal setting.
Traditionally, these kinds of resources are reserved for a company’s C-suite and other executives. But Bravely wants to spread the love and give everyone in a given company the same kind of treatment.
“Because we’re going to different levels of the organization — more junior employees, folks who are earlier in their career, different teams than those that traditionally get coaching — we’re reaching more women, more people of color, more LGBTQ-identifying folks, and intersections of those identities,” Bravely co-founder and CEO Toby Hervey told Built In. “Not only do they have access to coaching for the first time, but they’re using it in an outsized way, with really powerful implications for their success and their support in the workplace.”
This is an area that is especially important to both Hervey, who has been an out gay man his entire career, and his co-founder Sarah Sheehan, who is one of the few women executives in tech.
“This has always been a part of our DNA and what we’ve been trying to build,” Hervey added. “The whole product is designed with equity at its core.”
Of course, between Covid-19 and the tech industry’s ongoing (and long-overdue) commitment to diversity and inclusion both in and out of the workplace, a resource like Bravely is perhaps more important than ever. Even 18 months into the pandemic, folks are still struggling to reconcile the ever-thinning line between work time and personal time. And the seemingly constant barrage of bad or worsening situations is forcing employees to rethink what’s important for them and what they want out of an employer.
“The world of work almost couldn’t have changed more in the last year-and-a-half,” Hervey said. “I feel like a more direct and explicit conversation about what work is in our lives is really the solution to having peace in our personal lives beyond that. We can’t ignore the intersection of the two. You can’t think, ‘Oh, this is a solution for your personal life, and this is the solution for your work life.’ We’ve got to have things that get at the heart of both.”
Bravely, added Hervey, has proven to be a “really powerful tool” in accomplishing just that — leading to some “explosive growth” over the last year.
To keep up, the company will use this fresh funding to scale the business. This means hiring hundreds more coaches globally and extending its services to tens of thousands of more employees. Bravely also plans to grow its team, and has a handful of remote tech positions available now.