(Bloomberg) — Guild Education, a startup that helps workers with learning opportunities, has raised $150 million at a $3.8 billion valuation.
That’s up from the $1 billion valuation it fetched raising funds in late 2019, according to Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Rachel Carlson.
The latest round, which includes funding from Dan Sundheim’s investment firm, D1 Capital Partners, a new investor, will be used to double the size of the company’s product and engineering team, she said in an interview.
Corporations use Denver-based Guild Education to connect employees with education opportunities, including degrees from universities, boot camps, English-language courses and certificates. Clients include Walt Disney Co., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., and Discover Financial Services. The company is paid by learning providers once students complete a course or unit.
“We serve every employee from the janitor to the CEO,” Carlson said
U.S. workers are in demand right now but also face a ticking clock since a lot of jobs will be automated in the next decade, she said.
Guild Education helps hourly workers lacking upward mobility, according to Aileen Lee, founder and managing partner at Cowboy Ventures, one of its backers.
These workers can then become loyal to their employers for the chance to advance in their careers, she said, adding that it could be a large public company someday.
The program is a popular perk since it doesn’t require employees to make any upfront payments, said Wesley Chan, managing director at Felicis Ventures, who sits on the company’s board.
He compared its services to the GI Bill, which provides federal funding for veterans to pursue post-secondary education to help secure a post-military career.
“It’s the new GI Bill, but for people who are working at Walmart Inc. and Disney,” Chan said.
Existing investors that participated in the round include Bessemer Venture Partners, Cowboy Ventures, Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, General Catalyst, GSV, Iconiq Capital, Next Play Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.
(Corrects who pays for the service in fourth paragraph.)
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