Australia’s leading mentoring software platform Mentorloop has announced they have closed a $725,000 oversubscribed seed round from Blackbird Ventures, Rampersand and Tempus Partners, bringing their total funds raised to $1 million.
Launched in 2016 by Lucy Lloyd and Heidi Holmes, Mentorloop’s software has enabled organisations in Australia, the US, the UK, Canada, and Asia to start, run, and measure mentoring programs for their people – saving them hundreds of hours of admin work and millions of dollars in people costs.
“For too long effective mentoring programs have been impossible to run with spreadsheets and email, and viewed by organisations as a ‘nice to have’. We now know from decades of research that mentoring is critical for organisational success,” cofounder and CEO Lucy Lloyd says.
Effective mentoring boosts retention rates as much as 69% for mentors and 72% for mentees engaged in a mentoring program.
“Mentorloop’s software enables organisations to uncover their latent talent and knowledge on the sidelines. Well-run mentoring programs discover new leaders, uncover new ideas and better harness the depth of knowledge and experience lying dormant in your team. That’s where the real productivity gains are,” Ms Lloyd says.
How is Mentorloop doing so far?
Uptake of Mentorloop’s platform has been swift with the company’s revenue growing by 500% in 2017. The software is already being used by 28 clients across four continents with Australian clients including RACV, Institute of Public Accountants, TAL Insurance, the Australian Olympic Committee and Monash University.
“We are very excited about partnering with Mentorloop and being able to bring the benefits of mentoring to our members and the broader accounting community in a scalable and manageable way,” CEO of Institute of Public Accountant Andrew Conway commented.
A whopping 92% of mentors and mentees using Mentorloop want their organisations to continue using the platform.
Today, 75% of all millennials deem mentoring fundamental to their success, a generation which will occupy 50% of the global workforce in 2020. Yet the vast majority of these people don’t have access to mentors, who can provide them with relevant support, advice, and career insights.
In 2017, people can go to social media, blogs, podcasts and online courses to access information and learning. The one thing they can’t find outside of the workplace is the tacit knowledge and perfectly relevant domain expertise of employees within their own organisation – until now.
“Organisations who use Mentorloop’s My Match have a secure place – an employee CRM – where their people can browse and connect with the right person and right advice, on demand” says Heidi Holmes, COO.
Organisations spend an average of $1208 per person per year on learning and development. Using Mentorloop, these organisations can connect their people into hugely beneficial mentorships for just $25 per employee per year; $25 per year to improve development, leadership, retention, and performance, which is then compounded over hundreds or thousands of individuals.
What does this funding mean for Mentorloop?
The latest capital infusion will go towards the continued development of Mentorloop’s software platform as well as growing the team (currently nine people), which will allow the company to deliver even better mentoring experiences to its growing client list.
The oversubscribed round included Blackbird Ventures, rampersand and Tempus Partners, as well as angel investors Andrew Walsh and Adrian Stone.
“We were very excited to invest in Mentorloop. Not only is it a great team and product, but it also taps into major and unfurling trends that are transforming the future of work already. Both the startup and its clients are positioning well for the huge changes we can anticipate over the next decade or so,” Rampersand partner Paul Naphtali said.
Mentorloop graduated from the Startmate accelerator program, affiliated with Blackbird Ventures, earlier in 2017. Blackbird was quick to invest in a company that is going to make a real difference to people and organisations all over the world.
“We know from our experience running Startmate that accessing the right people can provide the tailwind to make you go further, faster. We’re excited to back Mentorloop to spread this revolution to organisations everywhere.” said Blackbird Partner, Samantha Wong.
Organisations can improve their bottom line via two mechanisms: increase performance and revenue or decrease inefficiencies and costs. Mentorloop enables them to do both.
“Mentorloop is helping organisations develop more engaged, skilled and sustainable workforces, and we’re backing a founding team that has the talent to turn this big opportunity into a great company” said Tempus Partners partner Alister Coleman.