Sounding Board Raises $30M to Scale Leadership Development
Leadership coaching platform Sounding Board, Inc., announced $30 million in Series B funding on Dec. 1.
According to Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Sounding Board, demand for leadership coaching has increased rapidly, with annual bookings up more than 350% year over year and net revenue retention up more than 200%. The company has seen growth for seven consecutive quarters. The new funds will accelerate rollout of its coaching management system, which provides a coaching engagement platform and brings data-driven accountability to users’ leadership programs, company officials said.
“Our Coaching Management System gives organizations access to the same powerful tools, data and reporting that we use here at Sounding Board to deliver consistent, high-quality coaching programs for our client partners around the world,” said Lori Mazan, Sounding Board’s co-founder, president and chief coaching officer, in a press release statement. “Moreover, they can customize the coaching experience to align with their own leadership models to address specific leadership development needs.”
The need for leadership coaching increased with the COVID-19 pandemic — with 40% of U.S. workers either changing jobs, managers or roles in 2020. As a result, many companies have since seen a need to rebalance and redeploy talent. According to Sounding Board's 2021 Leadership Coaching Report, 71% of organizations offer leadership coaching and 67% rely on a combination of internal and external coaches.
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The company said it is also committed to diverse leadership, with added investors in the recent Series B funding including Ancestry.com CEO Deb Liu, Docusign Area Vice President Tammy Aguillon and other female investors. That’s along with the female-founded company’s new lead investor, JAZZ Venture Partners, and existing investors like Canaan, Bloomberg Beta and Correlation Partners.
"We are excited to be a part of the team at Sounding Board that is unlocking human performance in the workplace and ensuring that each and every employee can live up to their full potential," said John Spinale, managing partner for JAZZ Venture Partners, in a statement. "We believe that leadership coaching is the next frontier to the evolution of employee development, employee productivity and ultimately employee happiness."
Sounding Board’s coaching management system is designed to lift organizations’ administrative burdens, making it easier to deliver leadership coaching experiences. With new funding secured, the company looks to expand its client base as demand for such platforms continues to rise.
"Because enterprise growth and innovation are driven by capable leadership, having a strong bench of leaders has become a critical competitive advantage," Tao said. "Our prediction is that within five years, every company will require technology to enable coaching at scale and that Sounding Board will be the company powering it.