Guild Education, a workforce upskilling platform, recently announced it has raised $175 million in a Series F funding round.
The round was led by Wellington Management, with participation from Oprah Winfrey, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Citi Impact Fund, and existing investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, and Iconiq Capital, according to a news release.
The latest funding brings the Denver-based company’s total valuation to $4.4 billion, up from $3.75 billion when it raised $150 million in its Series E funding round in June 2021 from investors like D1 Capital Partners and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Cowboy Ventures, Emerson Collective, General Catalyst, GSV, Harrison Metal, Iconiq Capital, Next Play Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.
Guild Education pairs employees with employer-sponsored learning opportunities to help them stay employable as well as take on the jobs of tomorrow. It focuses on creating opportunities for America’s workforce, especially those without a high school diploma or college degree, through education. The platform helps employees access a variety of education programs, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as certificates, trade diplomas, English-as-a-second-language courses, and high school completion programs.
Guild partners with employers such as Walmart, Walt Disney, Lowe’s, Discover Financial Services, Taco Bell, and Chipotle to help them provide education benefits to their workforce. The company also partners with a diverse network of non-profit, accredited universities, such as the University of Arizona, Purdue Global, Southern New Hampshire University, and the University of Central Florida, that focus on serving working adults. So far this year, the company said, it has launched partnerships with employers including Hilton, PepsiCo, Kohl’s, and Tyson Foods.
Oprah Winfrey, who participated in the round, said in a statement,
“I believe deeply in the power of education to change the trajectory of a person’s life, and Guild is creating a more equitable path to quality education.”
According to Guild, most education programs are inequitable – 67% of frontline workers cite not being able to pay upfront as the main reason for not using education and learning and development programs. Guild is changing that by connecting employers and high-value learning providers to create opportunities for America’s workforce. According to its CEO Rachel Romer Carlson, the cost at Guild typically ranges between $3,000 and $6,000 a year for a full slate of courses offered through partner universities and learning providers. By contrast, average tuition and fees for a US private university are around $38,000 per year and around $10,000 annually for an in-state student at a public school, per US News.
Earlier, Guild raised $157 million in its Series D funding round in November 2019, making the company become the latest female-led startup that hit a $1 billion valuation at that time. Venture capital firm General Catalyst led the round with participation from Emerson Collective, Iconiq Capital, and Lead Edge, and existing investors including Workday Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Next Play Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Felicis Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Harrison Metal.