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BetterUp, a training and coaching platform for employees before and beyond the C-suite, is getting in touch with your emotions. This week, the heavily funded unicorn startup announced a couple of acquisitions in the emotional artificial intelligence and people management space: Reason and Praise. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BetterUp announced its acquisitions after a very busy season, which included spending $ 100 million in annual recurring revenue, expanding into Europe, and reaching 1 million individual coaching sessions on its platform.
I will be honest. It’s normal for a growth-stage startup to use milestones to expand inorganically through acquisitions. How else do you grow in your assessment? The BetterUp deal duo still caught my eye because they point to a somewhat unconventional direction in which the coaching industry is headed. Stay with me.
BetterUp claims it pioneered the coaching category by focusing on employees, not just C-suite executives. With these acquisitions, you are changing the way that coaching is seen and lived. Motive, for example, will help BetterUp clients understand the emotional context behind the data they already accumulate, through surveys or engagement polls. It’s a plug-and-play approach that helps employers act more immediately on employee feedback, rather than waiting for the long game of training to play out.
At the other end of the funnel, Impraise uses technology to help managers better support their direct reports, through real-time performance reviews and smoother feedback channels. Like Motive, Impraise is a step beyond the traditional limits of what coaching looks like.
“The direct reporting relationship is where change happens in people’s lives,” said BetterUp CEO and Co-Founder Alexi Robichaux. “It doesn’t really happen in coaching sessions; change happens later. “
In some ways, these acquisitions are BetterUp and they admit that coaching for all employees should be a comprehensive solution that requires everyone in the company, from HR to managers, to be involved. It cannot be a weekly calendar invite. This type of investment could cause employers to avoid even offering services to their staff in the first place, but the pressure to retain them may force them to try anyway. For other training and skill enhancement platforms, the bar continues to rise.
“Coaching can be a point solution, but that is not enough and we know it better than anyone because we invented the point solution,” said Robichaux. “If you don’t have the data platform, if you don’t have the results. If you don’t have the artificial intelligence to customize this, you can train 50 managers in your company, ”but not all employees.
In the rest of this newsletter, I’ll walk us through Atlanta’s great kick-off moment, Casper’s nightmare, and Apple day. As always, you can find me on Twitter. @nmasc_ and listen to my podcast, Capital.
Atlanta’s Big Boot Moment
Move over Austin and Miami, Atlanta is in town. All eyes were on the city this week after Intuit bought local Mailchimp business for a staggering $ 12 billion. The Atlanta-based email marketing company never received outside funding, meaning the deal was one of the largest ever for an entrepreneurial company. And while some saw Mailchimp’s massive exit as a victory for Atlanta’s startup and startup ecosystem, others felt otherwise.
This is what you need to know: Part of Mailchimp’s strategy as a non-traditional technology company included failing to give Mailchimp employees equity and prioritizing profit sharing as well as higher salaries. Sounds good, until your startup comes out for $ 12 billion and you realize you don’t have any capital in the business you helped build. It’s a hit against bootstrapping, as we discussed during Equity. Employees spoke to Business Insider about your first reactions, answering if the agreement really empowers the local ecosystem.
Outside the inbox:
My scoop this week found that Casper, the consumer mattress company, had another round of layoffs that affected two dozen employees, as well as their CMO, CTO, and COO. The round of layoffs and executive changes comes just over a year since Casper cut 21% of its workforce and closed its European operations.
The easy conclusion here is that Casper is struggling with management and leadership and has been against them. since his public debut last year. However, I would say that there are more nuances here.
This is what you need to know: A founder in the direct-to-consumer space, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to her lack of direct acquaintance with the company, said Casper’s layoffs could also be a response to Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which will crack down. against applications that track user data without permission. The settings restrict the advertising data that companies can access, making it difficult to justify the budget and understand the effectiveness of your sales strategy.
For DTC companies, the uncertainty of in-person retail activity plus the difficulty of advertising attribution is a difficult hurdle to overcome.
Don’t sleep on this:
Apple (one) day
Apple returned to the stage with another virtual event to announce updates, improvements and news. The TechCrunch team, of course, I could not resist the opportunity to live a blog. Read our full coverage here.
This is what you need to know: It was the new iPhone 13. Brian Heater explained the context around the launch. and what is really new about the smartphone.
Last year’s iPhone 12 was a massive seller, defying the trend of stagnant smartphone sales, partly due to a sales bottleneck due to unplanned delay, but also because it finally brought 5G connectivity to the line. Apple mobile.
The iPhone 13 lucky number (no superstition jumps, mind) features a familiar design. The front notch has finally been lowered, now 20% smaller than its predecessor, while the rear camera system has also been redesigned. The display is now 28% brighter, the Super Retina XDR display on both the iPhone 13 and 13 mini at 1200 nits.
On and off stage:
Our preparation sessions are ready. Battlefield companies are amplified. And a photo booth is approaching.
TechCrunch Disrupt starts next week! Our flagship event, featuring speakers like Melanie Perkins and Reid Hoffman, will take place virtually September 21-23. The events team has really spent months making this an engaging, spontaneous virtual event true to our personality as a publication. And after seeing a sneak peek last week, I can promise you that it is unlike any other online conference I have attended during the pandemic.
Anyway, this is all to say that I am excited to join the stage with my colleagues, interview the brightest names in technology, and meet as many entrepreneurs as possible. Are you enjoying? Buy tickets using my discount code “MASCARENHAS20. ”
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