Hone, a human-powered platform for leadership training, nabs $16 million – TechCrunch

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With the construction of The Great Resignation, companies and organizations are looking for bigger and better ways to retain talent. One of the most popular ways to do this, at the moment, is to provide better tools around personal development and career growth for employees.

Hone, a startup backed by Cowboy Ventures, is looking to do just that.

The company today announces the closing of a $16 million Series A funding round led by F-Prime Capital, with participation from Cowboy Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Slack Fund, Gaingels and SemperVirens.

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Specifically, Hone focuses on leadership training within organizations through live, intimate, instructor-led online classes. New students will enter a four-week bootcamp, with subjects selected by the company. From there, they have unlimited access to Hone classes throughout the year.

There are plenty of corporate training topics that don’t necessarily require face-to-face sessions, such as security and data protection. But when it comes to having challenging conversations with employees, coaching them for a challenge, or leading discussions about diversity and inclusion, strong communication and interpersonal skills are absolutely essential.

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Hone provides a platform that gives managers the tools they need, and lets them practice those skills, without bringing them to a two-day in-person conference that doesn’t have a real lasting impact.

On top of that, Hone makes it really easy to schedule across different geographies and time zones with the now popular distributed workforce, allowing senior leaders in the company to focus on the things that matter.

Personal development and leadership coaching has become an incredibly hot spot in the past couple of years. Chief raised $40 million, Medley came into the scene with a new crowd-learning experience, and Inclusivv is another player involved in the sector.

“One of the biggest challenges is meeting the demand we’re seeing now,” said co-founder Savina Perez. “Global organizations come to us, so being able to give it to them, to think about localization and translation, is something that keeps me awake.”

Co-founder Tom Griffiths added that it’s difficult to scale a business like Hone, which has a lot of human input, rather than a standard SaaS product.

To date, the company has attracted more than 100 clients (organizations), which represents a growth of 400 percent year-on-year. Hone offers 300 lessons per month and has a team of 30 people, 50% of the team are female and 43% are people of color.

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