Executive coaching for employees is complicated and emotional –

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BetterUp, a reskilling and coaching platform for employees before and after C-Suite, is in touch with their emotions. This week, the richly funded unicorn startup announced a pair of acquisitions in the emotional artificial intelligence and people management space: Inspiration And impress. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BetterUp announced its acquisition after a busy stint that included passing $100 million in annual recurring revenue, expanding into Europe, and adding 1 million personal coaching sessions to its platform.

I’ll be honest. It’s par for the course to see growth-stage startups use milestones to expand inorganically through acquisitions. How else do you grow in your assessment? The pair of deals from BetterUp still stood out to me because they indicate some unconventional direction for the coaching industry. Stay with me.

BetterUp claims that it pioneered the category of coaching by focusing not only on C-Suite executives, but also on employees. With these acquisitions, it is changing how coaching looks and lives on. Motive, for example, will help BetterUp customers understand the emotional context behind data they already collect through engagement surveys or polls. It’s a plug-and-play approach that helps employers act quickly on employee sentiment, rather than waiting for them to play outside the long game of coaching.

At the other end of the funnel, Impress uses technology to help managers better support their direct reports through real-time performance reviews and more intuitive feedback channels. Like Motive, Impress is a step outside the traditional boundaries of what coaching looks like.

“The direct-report relationship is one where people’s lives change,” said Alexey Robichaux, CEO and co-founder of BetterUp. “It doesn’t really happen in coaching sessions; Change happens after.”

In some ways, these acquisitions are betterups acknowledging that coaching should be an end-to-end solution for all employees, requiring everyone in the company — from HR to managers — to get involved. This cannot be a weekly calendar invitation. Such investments may initially shy away from providing services to their employees, but the pressure to retain may compel them to try anyway. For other coaching and up-skilling platforms, the bar continues to be raised.

“Training may be a point solution, but it is not enough and we know it better than anyone because we invented the point solution,” Robichox said. “If you don’t have the data platform, if you don’t have the results. If you don’t have the AI ​​to personalize it, you can coach 50 managers in your company,” but not every employee.

For the rest of this newsletter, I’ll tell us about Atlanta’s big bootstrapped moment, Casper’s nightmare, and Apple’s heyday. As always, you can find me on Twitter @nmasc_ and listen to my podcast, share.

Atlanta’s big bootstrapped moment

Atlanta is in the city, aside from Austin and Miami. From this week onwards all eyes were on the city Intuit has local business Mailchimp. Bought For a staggering $12 billion. The Atlanta-based email marketing company never received any outside funding, which meant the deal was the largest ever for a bootstrapped company. and while some saw Mailchimp’s huge exit As the Atlanta startup and enterprise ecosystem triumphed, others felt differently.

Here’s what to know: Part of Mailchimp’s strategy as an unconventional tech company included not giving Mailchimp employees equity, and prioritizing profit-sharing as well as higher salaries. It sounds good, until your startup exits on $12 billion and you find out you don’t have any equity in the business you helped build. It’s a knock against bootstrapping, as we discussed during Equity. Employees talk to Business Insider about their first reactions, answering whether the deal really empowers the local ecosystem.

Outside Inbox:

Casper’s Nightmare

image credit: Bryce Durbin /

This week my scoop revealed that Casper, a direct-to-consumer mattress company, had another round of layoffs It affected two dozen employees as well as its CMO, CTO and COO. The round of layoffs and executive reshuffles comes a little over a year after Casper cut 21% of its workforce and closed its European operations.

The easy thing here is that Casper is struggling with management and direction and is on his back foot. Since its public debut last year. However, I would argue that there are more nuances here.

Here’s what to know: A founder in the direct-to-consumer space, who spoke directly with the company on condition of anonymity due to a lack of knowledge, said Casper’s layoffs could also be a reaction to Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which is likely to hit them. Track users data without permission which will break on apps. This setting restricts the advertising data that companies can access, making it difficult to justify budgets and understand the efficacy of their sales strategy.

For DTC companies, the uncertainty of individual retail activity and the difficulty of advertising attribution are a daunting obstacle to overcome.

Don’t sleep on it

apple (a) day

Apple went back on stage with another virtual event to announce updates, upgrades, and brand new unveilings. The team, of course, Couldn’t stop the chance to go live the blog. Read our full coverage here.

Here’s what to know: It was all about the new iPhone 13. Brian Heiter explains the context surrounding the launch And what’s really new about smartphones.

Last year’s iPhone 12 was a big seller, bucking the trend of stagnation in smartphone sales, in part due to a bottleneck in sales from unplanned delays, but also because it would eventually add 5G connectivity to Apple’s mobile line. brought.

The lucky number iPhone 13 (no skipping for superstition, mind) features a familiar design. The front notch has finally shrunk – now 20% smaller than its predecessor – while the rear-facing camera system has also received a facelift. The screen is now 28% brighter, with the Super Retina XDR display clocking in at 1200 nits on both the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini.

On and off stage:

TC. nearby

Our preparation sessions are over. Battlefield companies are amped. And a photo booth is coming.

Disrupt starts next week! Our flagship event, featuring speakers such as Melanie Perkins and Reid Hoffman, runs approximately September 21 to 23. The event team has actually spent months making this a virtual event that feels engaging, effortless and true to our personalities as a publication. And after getting a glimpse last week, I can promise you that it’s different from any other online conference I’ve attended during the pandemic.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I look forward to joining the forum with my colleagues, interviewing the brightest names in tech, and meeting as many entrepreneurs as possible. Are you joining? Buy tickets using my discount codeMascarenhas20

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