TaskHuman lands $20 million to expand its virtual coaching platform
TaskHuman, a coaching-focused professional development platform, today announced it has raised $20 million in Madrona-led Series B funding with participation from Impact Venture Capital, RingCentral Ventures, Sure Ventures, USVP, Gaingels, PeopleTech Angels, Propel(x) and Zoom Enterprises. The latest infusion brings the company’s total to $35 million, which CEO Ravi Swaminathan says is spent on product development, marketing and sales efforts.
Swaminathan and Daniel Mazzella co-founded TaskHuman in 2017, with the aim of connecting users with specialists on topics related to their personal and professional lives. Swaminathan was previously program and logistics manager at Dell and vice president of software solutions at SanDisk, while Mazzella was a system administrator at Stamps.com. The two met at Wizr, a startup developing AI systems to analyze security camera footage.
“When it comes to learning and personal development, no amount of generic articles or watching pre-recorded videos [can replace] a real person with experience in a given field. Creating TaskHuman was our response to solving this challenge,” Swaminathan told TechCrunch in a Q&A email. “We started by providing basic needs including health and wellness, physical fitness, mental, spiritual, emotional wellbeing, etc. Since then, we have continued to develop and meet all of an individual’s needs for personal and professional growth, such as financial wellness, sales and leadership coaching, animal training company, travel planning, and more.”
TaskHuman users connect with experts through live video chats. The company claims to have a network of more than 1,000 “coaches” in nearly 50 countries, each specializing in distinct areas. An AI-powered search function lets users search for topics and coaches in natural language (e.g. “I want to lose weight”), while a recommendation engine attempts to personalize the browsing experience by suggesting, for example, similar coaches based on past sessions.
“TaskHuman has a direct relationship with each coach, and we pay them under the terms of our relationship for their coaching contributions. They are all contractors on a global scale,” Swaminathan said when asked about the payment structure. coachings.
Users can purchase access to the TaskHuman network with “TaskHuman minutes,” which can be applied to a chat session with any specialist or topic, Swaminathan explains. Alternatively, businesses can subscribe to TaskHuman to provide unlimited access to their employees along with in-app content and group sessions.
Picture credits: TaskHuman
Swaminathan argues that business in particular stands to benefit from TaskHuman’s platform. It’s true that company training programs tend to be mixed, with just 25% of respondents to a McKinsey survey saying that their company’s training has improved their job performance. According to another survey, 75% of managers were dissatisfied with the learning and development function of their company in 2019.
“At the board and executive level, many companies see a lack of attention to employee well-being as a threat to productivity and, conversely, a strong commitment to physical, mental and spirituality of every worker as a competitive advantage for recruiting and retaining talent in a time of labor shortage and ‘great quitting,'” Swaminathan said. “From case studies, we saw ROI in four main areas: preventing burnout, reducing employee attrition, improving employee engagement and recruitment, and reducing employee reimbursement claims. medical fees.”
Competition in the crowded e-learning space covers BetterUp, CoachHub, and Torch. Swaminathan argues that his company’s offering is broader, however, and provides better access to specialists because it doesn’t require scheduling sessions in advance.
“We’ve seen that the pandemic is really empowering people to go beyond their comfort zone and embrace video technologies like TaskHuman, Zoom, RingCentral and others,” Swaminathan said. “We feel the need to accelerate our mission in these trying times to help people in their personal and professional lives, and we feel the urgency to address the current mental health crisis and the culture of the great quitting by responding to the desperate thirst for a 1:1, personalized commitment to personal and professional growth.”
Certainly, TaskHuman has benefited from the pandemic, which has pushed coaches of all types to move online. According to a 2021 survey by the International Coaching Federation, 83% of coaches increased their use of audio-video platforms for coaching during the health crisis while 82% saw a decrease for in-person sessions.
TaskHuman says its customers include Zoom, Dr. Scholl’s, RingCentral, and public and government institutions like Purdue University, the Oakland Housing Authority, and Job Corps centers run by the U.S. Department of Labor. Although Swaminathan declined to disclose financial information, he said annual recurring revenue increased more than 5x year-over-year.
“Our company is focused on expanding globally and scaling its network of trainers,” Swaminathan said. “We will continually add to the pool of human experience and expertise available on the platform and expand vendor support in even more languages and countries around the world.”