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BetterUp, a requalification and coaching platform for employees before and beyond the C-suite, comes into contact with his emotions. This week, the richly-funded Unicorn startup announced a pair of acquisitions in emotional artificial intelligence and people management: Pattern and To impregnate, to permeate. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BetterUp announced its acquisitions after a busy stint, which included surpassing $ 100 million in annual recurring revenue, expanding into Europe, and 1 million one-on-one coaching sessions on its platform.
I will be honest. It’s normal for the course to see a growing startup using milestones to develop inorganically through acquisitions. If not, how do you develop your assessment? BetterUp’s offering duo has always stood out to me because they point in a somewhat unconventional direction in where the coaching industry is going. Stay with me.
BetterUp claims to have pioneered the coaching category by focusing on employees, not just senior executives. With these acquisitions, the appearance and the life of this coaching change. Motive, for example, will help BetterUp customers understand the emotional context behind the data they already aggregate, through engagement surveys or polls. It’s a plug-and-play approach that helps employers act on employee sentiment more immediately, instead of waiting for the long game of coaching to unfold.
At the other end of the funnel, Impraise is using technology to help managers better support their direct reports, through real-time performance reviews and more transparent feedback channels. Like Motive, Impraise is a step outside the traditional boundaries of what coaching looks like.
“The direct reporting relationship is where change happens in people’s lives,” said Alexi Robichaux, CEO and co-founder of BetterUp. “It doesn’t really happen in coaching sessions; the change occurs after.
In some ways, these acquisitions are BetterUp admitting that coaching for all employees must be an end-to-end solution that requires everyone in the business – from HR to managers – to be involved. It cannot be a weekly calendar invitation. This type of investment might make employers hesitate to even offer services to their staff to begin with, but the pressure to retain them may force them to try anyway. For other coaching and development platforms, the bar continues to be raised.
“Coaching can be a point solution, but it’s not enough and we know it better than anyone because we invented the point solution,” said Robichaux. “If you don’t have the data platform, if you don’t have the results. If you don’t have AI to customize this, you can coach 50 managers in your business, ”but not all employees.
In the rest of this newsletter, I’ll walk us through Atlanta’s big boot moment, Casper’s nightmare, and Apple’s day. As always you can find me on Twitter @nmasc_ and listen to my podcast, Equity.
Atlanta’s big boot moment
Move aside Austin and Miami, Atlanta is in town. All eyes were on the city this week after Intuit bought the local Mailchimp business for the staggering sum of $ 12 billion. The Atlanta-based email marketing firm never received any outside funding, meaning the deal was one of the largest ever for a seeded company. And while some have seen The massive release of Mailchimp as a victory for Atlanta’s startup and business ecosystem, others have felt differently.
Here’s what you need to know: Part of Mailchimp’s strategy as a non-traditional tech company was to not give Mailchimp employees equity capital and to prioritize profit sharing as well as higher wages. That sounds good, until your startup leaves for $ 12 billion and you realize that you have no capital in the business you helped create. It’s a hit against the bootstrap, as we discussed at Equity. Employees spoke to Business Insider on their first reactions, responding if the agreement effectively strengthens the local ecosystem.
Outside of the inbox:
My scoop this week discovered that Casper, the direct-to-consumer mattress company, had another round of layoffs which impacted two dozen employees, as well as its CMOs, CTOs and COOs. The string of layoffs and executive reshuffle comes just over a year since Casper cut 21% of its workforce and stop its European operations.
The easy catch here is that Casper struggles with management and direction and has been on the back since its public debut last year. However, I would say there are more nuances here.
Here’s what you need to know: A founder of the direct-to-consumer space, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to her lack of first-hand knowledge of the business, said Casper’s layoffs could also be a response to the update Apple’s iOS 14.5, which will crack down on apps that track user data without permission. The setting restricts the advertising data that businesses can access, making it more difficult to justify the budget and understand the effectiveness of their sales strategy.
For DTC companies, the uncertainty of in-person retail activity and the difficulty of attributing advertising is a difficult hurdle to overcome.
Don’t sleep on it:
Apple (one) day
Apple has returned to the scene with another virtual event to announce updates, upgrades and new unveils. The TechCrunch team, of course, couldn’t resist a chance to blog live. Read our full coverage here.
Here’s what you need to know: Everything revolved around the new iPhone 13. Brian Heater explained the background to the launch and what’s really new on the smartphone.
Last year’s iPhone 12 was a huge seller, thwarting the trend of stagnant smartphone sales, partly because of a sales bottleneck due to the unforeseen delay, but also because it finally brought 5G connectivity to Apple’s mobile lineup.
IPhone 13’s lucky number 13 (no jump for superstition sake, wit) features a familiar design. The front notch was eventually narrowed – now 20% smaller than its predecessor – while the rear-facing camera system has also been redesigned. The screen is now 28% brighter, the Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone 13 and 13 mini at 1200 nits.
On and off the stage:
Our preparation sessions are over. Battlefield companies are amplified. And a photo booth arrives.
TechCrunch Disrupt kicks off next week! Our flagship event, featuring speakers like Melanie Perkins and Reid Hoffman, runs virtually September 21-23. The events team really spent months making this an engaging virtual event, spontaneous and true to our personality as a publication. And after getting a preview last week, I can promise you it’s unlike any other online conference I’ve attended during the pandemic.
Anyway, all of this to say that I can’t wait to take the stage with my colleagues, interview the biggest names in tech, and meet as many entrepreneurs as possible. Are you a member? Buy tickets using my discount code “MASCARENHAS20. ”
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