Guider, a London-based personal-development platform for employees, announced that it has secured $3M funding in a seed investment round from early-stage London-based VC Fuel Ventures. The UK VC has recently invested in various companies like the knowledge-sharing platform Arbolus, electric boat startup XShore, and fintech company Monspire.
Guider will use the funds to accelerate its commercial function, expand its engineering team, and international expansion. Currently, the company employs 30 employees and plans to double the team this year.
“Phase 1 of our international expansion focuses on North America, with commercial hires in New York as we grow out an office there. Additionally, we plan to grow into leading European nations like France and Germany as the platform becomes multi-language compatible,” says Ross.
Based out of London, Fuel Ventures invests in marketplaces, fintech, platforms, and SaaS companies in the UK. On Guider investments, Mark Pearson from Fuel Ventures adds, “There is no doubt that the world of work is changing and organisations, like Guider, are there to help large businesses with big, disparate teams to build better relationships with and between staff. Nick Ross and his team have the vision of creating a platform that makes mentoring more efficient and accessible. We are excited to be part of this journey.”
Nick Ross founded Guider in 2018 to support global brands implement effective and scalable programs to help their people grow and develop. We at TFN had a chat with Nick Ross to find out more about the company’s challenges, The Great Resignation, how Guider was born, his plans for the future, and much more.
How was Guider born?
Ross details that Guider was born out of a desire to make mentoring more accessible. “Out of frustration to find my mentor and having witnessed the impact mentorship can have on one’s career and personal development and mental health.”
He adds, “When developing employee wellbeing platform Perkbox, I realised that meaningful employee perks went beyond discounted cinema tickets and gym memberships. The real impact area was personal development and building connections within your business.” Ross says Guider can help in various aspects from enhancing career development, and transforming Employee Onboarding to amplifying sponsorship and connecting people.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation, also known as Big Quit is an ongoing trend where employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse. According to Wikipedia, the term “Great Resignation” was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, in May 2021.
Currently, this phenomenon has already affected many businesses. Research reveals that 77% of 25-33-year-olds are looking for a career change in the next year, while 94% of employees admitted they would remain in a role if there were greater opportunities to ‘learn & grow’.
However, to retain valuable talent, corporations need to be an attractive place to work and put the employee at the centre of their actions. And here’s where Guider’s platform comes into play with its corporate mentoring programmes.
Talking about The Great Resignation, Ross says, “Millennials and Gen Z are 5 times more likely to stay with an organisation longer than 5 years when they have a mentor. Having an effective mentoring culture not only helps your people feel valued and connected but improves their aspirations within their company. Particularly for employees from the under-represented group who lack role model figures in leadership positions.”
Smart matching algorithm
The UK company uses a smart matching algorithm to match mentors and mentees based on desired skills, experience, and improvement areas. The platform aims to serve those seeking new ways to improve employee retention, staff wellbeing, diversity & inclusion, and personal career development.
Additionally, Guider’s clients can use the platform to support their other employee development programmes, such as coaching, sponsorship, buddying, and mental health allies. According to Guider, 84% of Guider users have experienced a positive effect using the system. However, it has its challenge when it comes to conquering the £1B market.
Throwing light on the challenges, Ross, shares, “Educating the corporate landscape as to how scalable mentoring can have a far great impact on achieving their goals than the traditional methods, whether those goals are employee engagement, employee performance, and employee retention.”
Access to career development
Currently, the company is working with several dozen global brands, including EY, Deloitte, M&S, and LVMH, with over 100,000 users across 95 different countries. Talking about Guider’s USP, Ross affirms, “Guider is more than software. Our unique offering includes our expert team and community to help organisations excel in mentoring and peer learning.”
“In the future, Guider will be your go-to platform for meaningful employee connections. From mentoring, to reverse mentoring, flash mentoring, coaching, sponsorship, allies, buddies, and so on – whatever you can think of to connect people to have impactful conversations. We aim to drive change in the employee experience, particularly supporting Diversity & Inclusion and social impact initiatives,” concludes Ross.