One of FanDuel’s co-founders has raised $30 million to fund a startup – Hone – which provides a platform for “enterprise-scale” learning and development, at the direction. On the heels of a $16 million Series A round in November, Hone today closed its Series B, which had contributions from 3L Capital (which led the round), F-Prime Capital, Cowboy Ventures and Slack Fund. The new capital will go towards experimenting with “smart” recommendations and reinforcements, CEO Tom Griffiths said, to “enhance the learner experience” and “produce even more successful learning outcomes.”
After co-launching FanDuel and helping develop the sports betting outfit for hundreds of employees, Griffiths tells TechCrunch he was inspired to reimagine the training experience for today’s workplaces. He spoke with Hone’s second co-founder, Savina Perez, at a conference about the shared belief that leadership development should be widely available.
“Given [Perez’s and I’s] complementary skill sets, his background in business-to-business marketing, and mine in business-to-consumer products, we decided to work together to make our vision of democratizing the education of executive quality people skills a reality,” said Griffiths. “[W]We have undertaken to democratize access to quality training for managers by making it accessible to all company employees. To do that, we had to make it scalable and accessible, which is why we were online from the start. »
Hone offers live, small-group, performance-focused instruction with modules to reinforce concepts through real-time practice and feedback. In content verticals such as management, team dynamics, and wellness, the platform offers instructor-led curriculum-based training, including time for peer-to-peer discussions .
New Hone students enter a four-week bootcamp, with topics selected by the company. From there, they have unlimited access to classes throughout the year.
Enterprise learning platforms are practically a dime a dozen (see Go1, EduMe, BetterUp, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, etc.), but Griffiths says Hone stands out because its content isn’t pre-recorded and puts the emphasis on competency-based rather than competency-based courses. to individual coaching. Beyond that, Hone offers automation tools for HR admins, like automatic scheduling and attendance tracking for training.
Instructors are paid “hundreds of dollars an hour,” Griffiths said — increasing with expertise and experience with Hone. He claims that’s four to five times what they typically earn on one-on-one coaching platforms, justified due to Hone’s greater accountability and common budget structure.
Future plans include in-person events where leaders can connect and exchange ideas, says Griffiths.
“We have implemented integrations with [platforms] such as Workday, Rippling and SAP SuccessFactors. We’ve also enhanced our elective course offerings so learners can choose from an even wider array of masterclasses in the learner-led part of their experience,” said Griffiths. “Content-wise, we have enhanced our core training offerings for managers with live practice labs and team-based courses [and] added learning paths for individual contributors and emerging executives.
Asked about growth prospects, Griffiths said the pandemic was a “huge tailwind” for Hone, pushing its customer base to expand into brands including Indeed, ConocoPhillips, Pacific Sunwear, Allscripts, TomTom and Aramark. Without disclosing his earnings, Griffiths says Hone is actively hiring, aiming to recruit about 30 employees by the end of the year (the company currently has 70).
“We were extremely well placed to meet the challenges the pandemic posed for learning and development. And our people skills training is so universal across industries that we haven’t seen a significant slowdown, despite the cooling we’ve seen in the tech industry,” Griffiths said. “In fact, there is the false impression that training budgets are the first to be cut in a declining economy. That’s not what happens in companies that focus on retaining their top talent. Whether you’re laying off employees or freezing headcount, smart companies understand that learning and development is key to keeping their best people and getting the most out of them in a tighter environment.
The total raised by Hone is $52 million.
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