TaskMan, a professional development platform focused on coaching, today announced it has raised $20 million in Madrona-led Series B funding with Impact Venture Capital, RingCentral Ventures, Sure Ventures, USVP, Gaingels, PeopleTech Angels, Propel(x) and Zoom Ventures . . The latest infusion brings the company’s total fundraising to $35 million, which CEO Ravi Swaminathan says goes to product development, marketing and sales.
Swaminathan and Daniel Mazzella co-founded TaskHuman in 2017 with the goal of connecting users with experts on topics related to their personal and professional lives. Previously, Swaminathan was Program and Logistics Manager at Dell and VP of Software Solutions at SanDisk, while Mazzella was a System Administrator at Stamps.com. They met at Wizr, a startup that develops artificial intelligence systems for analyzing CCTV footage.
“When it comes to learning and personal development, no general articles or watching pre-recorded videos [can replace] a real person with experience in this field. Creating TaskHuman was our answer to solving this problem,” Swaminathan told TechCrunch in a Q&A email. “We started by offering basic needs, including health and wellness, physical fitness, mental, spiritual, emotional well-being and more. Since then, we have continued to expand and support all human needs for personal and professional growth, such as financial well-being, sales and leadership training, pet training, travel planning, and more.”
TaskHuman users communicate with experts in real-time video chats. The company claims to have a network of over 1,000 “trainers” in nearly 50 countries, each specializing in specific areas. The AI-powered search feature allows users to search for topics and trainers in natural language (such as “I want to lose weight”), while the recommendation system attempts to personalize browsing by suggesting similar trainers based on past sessions, for example. .
“TaskHuman has a direct relationship with each coach and we pay them according to the terms of our relationship for their contributions to coaching. They are all contractors all over the world,” Swaminathan said when asked about the coaching fee structure.
Users can buy access to the TaskHuman network with “TaskHuman minutes,” which can be used to chat with any specialist or on any topic, Swaminathan said. Additionally, companies can subscribe to TaskHuman to offer their employees unlimited access as well as in-app content and group sessions.
Swaminathan argues that businesses are the first to benefit from the TaskHuman platform. It’s true that corporate training programs tend to be a mixed bag, with only 25% of respondents choosing McKinsey. interview saying that training at their company has improved their performance. According to another interview75% of managers were dissatisfied with the learning and development function in their company in 2019.
“At the level of the board of directors and top managers, many companies see a lack of attention to the well-being of employees as a threat to productivity, and, conversely, a strong commitment to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of each employee as a competitive advantage to hire and retain. talent in times of labor shortages and the Great Retirement,” Swaminathan said. “By examining case studies, we found ROI in four main areas: preventing burnout, reducing employee layoffs, increasing employee engagement and hiring, and reducing medical reimbursement claims.”
The competition in the crowded field of e-learning spans BetterUp, coachhub as well as Torch. However, Swaminathan claims that his company’s offering is broader and offers better access to specialists because it doesn’t require pre-scheduling of sessions.
“We found that the pandemic has really allowed people to step out of their comfort zone and use video technologies like TaskHuman, Zoom, RingCentral and others,” Swaminathan said. “We feel the need to accelerate our mission during these challenging times to help people in both their personal and professional lives, and we feel an urgent need to combat the current mental health crisis and the Great Retirement culture by satisfying the horrendous desire for 1:1. individual participation for personal and professional growth”.
Of course, TaskHuman has benefited from the pandemic, which has pushed coaches of all types to move online. Based on 2021 data interview according to the International Coaching Federation, 83% of coaches increased their use of audio-visual coaching platforms during the health crisis, while 82% reduced their in-person sessions.
TaskHuman says its clients include Zoom, Dr. Scholl’s, RingCentral, and state and government agencies such as Purdue University, the Oakland Housing Authority, and Job Corps centers operated by the US Department of Labor. Although Swaminathan declined to disclose financial data, he said that the annual recurring income has grown more than 5 times compared to last year.
“Our company is focused on global expansion and expanding the network of trainers,” said Swaminathan. “We will continually add to the human experience and knowledge available on the platform and expand vendor support in even more languages and countries around the world.”
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