DENVER — June 2, 2021 — With the economy’s growing war for talent and an accelerating skills gap, Guild Education, the leading education and upskilling platform, today announced a Series E financing round, funding the company’s growth to support American workers alongside America’s largest employers — connecting upskilling to career mobility through technology, partnerships, and student services.
Guild’s growth is concurrent with two distinct and important trends facing American workers: today’s massive shortage of frontline workers fueling a war for talent, and tomorrow’s need for a more technologically skilled workforce driving an urgent focus on upskilling for the future of work.
Over the past year, 70% of U.S. companies reported major talent shortages — the highest number in a decade. At the same time, automation looms as a significant threat to American jobs with more than half of all jobs in the U.S. at significant risk of being fully or partially automated. Additionally, the more than 80 million Americans without a college degree or skilled training are four times more likely to be displaced from the job market.
Guild is uniquely tackling both challenges — helping employers attract and retain talent in today’s jobs while preparing employees for the careers of tomorrow.
Guild partners with the nation’s largest, forward-thinking employers — including The Walt Disney Company, Chipotle, and Discover Financial Services — to connect their workforce with upskilling opportunities. Guild’s Learning Marketplace brings together hundreds of the nation’s leading public and nonprofit universities like Oregon State University and eCornell, alongside innovative bootcamps and non-traditional learning providers teaching skills like Salesforce Administration. The thousands of programs available to workers range from entry-level English-language courses and college prep to full degrees and advanced digital certificates in programs like cybersecurity, data analytics and digital marketing.
Guild serves working learners from all 50 states, including 54% who are students of color and 56% who are female, with outcomes that outperform peers at work and in the classroom. In 2020, 50% of Guild students had a promotion or role change, compared to 23% of their comparable employees not engaging with Guild. Guild’s focus on helping employees at both school and work is succeeding — the college retention rate for students in Guild programs is 16% higher in year one, compared to the national average for comparable part-time, working adult students.
Guild supports learners like Taylor H., who, with the support of her company, Discover Financial Services, graduated with a B.S. in Software Design and Development from Wilmington University and, as a result, has risen the ranks in the company from a phone agent in the customer service and fraud departments to a promotion leading an analyst team. Another Guild student, Allexis B., focused on data analytics while pursuing a B.S. in marketing through the Disney Aspire program and saw her salary double in her new role.
“Discover gave me a lot of opportunities…I’m finally happy with what I’m doing and where I want to go. And I feel like I have the skills and the proper tools to get to where I want to be,” Taylor H. said.
To continue this critical work and carry out the company’s mission, Guild announced that it has raised $150 million, which brings the company’s valuation to $3.75 billion. This capital will be used to fuel Guild’s growth, starting by doubling the size of the company’s product and engineering team, where Guild will hire nationally, and investing further in its payments and technology platform. To further propel the careers of its students, Guild will also strengthen its career products and services, as well as expand its robust coaching team, hiring in Denver and in hubs around the U.S. in communities where their students live. Guild will also invest in onboarding new universities and learning partners who’ve applied to join Guild’s Learning Marketplace, including more innovative bootcamps and short-form certificates in high-demand skills like cybersecurity, data analytics and healthcare, all of which better deliver equity and opportunity to America’s workforce.
“American workers are currently in a buyer’s market when it comes to choosing where to work, as more and more ‘help wanted’ signs go up in the post-COVID recovery. But they also face a ticking clock — many of those frontline jobs face major disruption and automation in the next 5-10 years, and the war for talent is accelerating the adoption of automation technology. Those workers want and need to see upskilling opportunities and a career path as a part of any job they take,” said Rachel Carlson, Guild Education CEO & Co-Founder. “At Guild, we’ve built a multi-sided marketplace and platform to support both workers and companies as we navigate toward the future of work. This latest round of funding will allow us to support the tens of millions of Americans in need of upskilling, with a model that encourages their employers to do well by doing good.”
The round was funded by leading technology and impact investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Cowboy Ventures, D1 Capital Partners, Emerson Collective, General Catalyst, GSV, Harrison Metal, ICONIQ, Next Play Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.
About Guild Education
Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling. A certified B-Corp, founded to bridge the gap between education and employment for the 88 million working adults in the U.S. in need of upskilling for the future of work, Guild is an education platform that upskills workers and prepares companies for the future. Guild’s industry-leading technology platform allows the nation’s largest employers — including Walmart, The Walt Disney Company and Chipotle — to offer strategic education and upskilling to their employees. Guild connects them to a learning marketplace of the nation’s best universities and learning providers, from institutions like Oregon State University, Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Paul Quinn College, community colleges like Rio Salado College, Southern New Hampshire University and eCornell, as well as certificates in technical skills like Salesforce Administration and GoogleIT — with tuition paid by the company. Guild serves working learners from all 50 states, including 54% who are students of color and 56% who are female. Guild’s payments and technology platform, curated learning marketplace, and advanced education and career coaching come together to help working adult learners advance in their education and career, debt-free. For more information, visit https://www.guildeducation.com/.