Everwise, a start-up based out of both New York and San Francisco, recently raised $16 million in Series B funding and has almost tripled its number of customers in the last nine months. Financial backers include Sequoia Capital, Canvas Ventures and Webb Investment Network.
Three years old and employing 80 people, the company plans to release a new element to their existing offerings; a software platform that utilizes social learning to bring people together with the resources and tools geared toward aiding them throughout a variety of stages in their professional lives.
Everwise started out as facilitator matching would-be protégés with the right mentors. In this respect, the company matches executives willing to volunteer their time with industry up-and-comers and others looking for career guidance, including everyone from entrepreneurs, sports coaches, and those who desire to climb the ladder in Fortune 500 companies.
Everwise has done this by utilizing users’ existing LinkedIn profiles alongside personalized surveys and plugs the information into an algorithm that matches them with executives from other companies that possess more experience. The startup followed this up by adding more software features based on the suggestions of its volunteer mentors. These services include reading lists, TED talks, and the ability for users to create their own career development goals or even import them from their own performance reviews, along with giving them the ability to chart their progress in reaching these goals.
However, the startup and its backer Sequoia are now shifting the company to provide a more robust set of career education tools. They are doing this with their new Enterprise Social Learning Platform, which is already available. They aim to help top organizations find solutions for critical talent-related issues, aiding in diversifying staff, creating inclusive workplace cultures and engage millennials. Everwise will also help onboard new employees and give organizations the necessary tools to effect structural change.
Everwise CEO and co-founder Mike Bergelson
“HR leaders have historically had to choose between solutions that scale and those that are effective,” commented Everwise CEO and co-founder Mike Bergelson. “We believe this is a false choice. Every employee should have access to a personalized, impactful social learning experience. The human connection is critical to translating knowledge into behavior change.”
Another aspect of the new SaaS-Based platform includes a tool referred as EverwiseWomen, which aims at closing the gender gap found in many workplaces by helping to increasing the number of leadership positions held by women. While another feature called Ask Me gives users to ability to ask experts questions through the platform.
Everwise’s current network of mentors individuals with expertise volunteer their, roughly 10 hours of time during a span of six months. At this time the startup boasts mentors in 170 different industries and have members in 70 different companies. According to Sequoia CEO Bergelson individuals continue to use the service because “they learn a ton through the process, including how to be better coaches for their own teams and within their own companies.
He went on to say that providing access to online content alone won’t solve the talent crises companies face today. This is why organizations and employees are demanding a completely new model for career development. HR leaders have historically had to choose between solutions that scale and those that are effective. We believe this is a false choice and that every employee should have access to a personalized, impactful social learning experience. The human connection—where people learn from and with each other—is critical to translating knowledge into behavior chance.
Mentors themselves have found satisfaction with the program, with 90 percent asking Everwise to match them with another mentee as soon as their obligation to their first is completed.