Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Raises $80M to End Worker Burnout

Burnout is a mental health crisis that appears to be plaguing everyone from tech employees to front-line healthcare workers due, in part, to the ongoing global pandemic. Indeed, founder Arianna Huffington says this moment has “highlighted the themes at the heart” of Thrive Global “like never before.”

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Jul. 09, 2021
Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Raises $80M to End Worker Burnout
NYC-based Thrive Global raised $80M Series C
Image: Shutterstock

Thrive Global, a wellness startup founded by businesswoman Arianna Huffington that aims to “end the stress and burnout epidemic,” has raised $80 million in fresh funding. The Series C round values the NYC-based company at $700 million, anonymous sources told Bloomberg

Built In last caught up with Thrive Global back in 2017, when it raised a $30 million Series B. At the time, the company was just a year old, and the concept of worker burnout was only just beginning to garner mainstream attention. Four years later, it’s a mental health crisis that appears to be plaguing everyone from employees at major tech giants to front-line healthcare workers due to the ongoing global pandemic. 

Indeed, Huffington says this moment has “highlighted the themes at the heart” of her company “like never before.” 

“Now as we’re facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine work and productivity, this is where our mission and our platform meet the moment,” the Huffington Post co-founder wrote in a recent blog post. “This new funding is a validation of all we’ve accomplished so far — but more important, it enables us to fulfill our vision of shaping the future of the employee experience.”

Thrive works by pairing its traditional online media platform with corporate services and digital tools designed to be a “behavior change coach” for employees. The app provides various “microsteps” — short, science-backed exercises to improve health and productivity — that guide users through one of six “journeys” (recharge, food, move, money, focus and connect). It also offers live webinars, interactive learning programs and analytics to gauge employee wellbeing. To date, Thrive has been used by employees at more than 100 companies, including Walmart, Bank of America and Hilton. 

For now, these microsteps can be directly integrated into an employee’s Microsoft Teams account for reminders. Later this year, Thrive Global says it will also be incorporated into Zoom and Cisco Webex to “help combat virtual fatigue.”

In its press release, the company added that this fresh funding will be used to further invest in data science, AI and machine learning capabilities to improve the impact of its microsteps, as well as improve its Mental Resilience Dashboard, which gives employers an “at-a-glance view” of employees’ burnout risk and data-driven recommendations. Thrive Global also plans to grow its team, with an emphasis on its product, engineering, design and go-to-market departments.

The round was led by Kleiner Perkins partner Mamoon Hamid, one of the earliest investors at major companies like Slack, Box and Figma, which just opened a new hub in NYC. Co-leading the round was Owl Ventures, a leading investor in edtech that has backed companies like MasterClass and Codecademy, too. Hamid and Ian Chiu, a managing director at Owl Ventures, will be joining Thrive’s board of directors.

“With its science-backed approach to behavior change, emphasis on mental health and resilience, and ability to create communities of support, Thrive Global has been ahead of the curve in so many ways,” Chiu said in a statement. “We at Owl Ventures are particularly excited by the transformative potential of Thrive Global’s SaaS platform to teach employees and organizations around the world how to build healthy habits in an increasingly dynamic and changing world.”

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