BetterUp: The people experience platform for professional coaching

Doug Pepper, Zachary Cherian And Richa Mehta | February 25, 2021

Alexi Robichaux was miserable at work but couldn’t understand why. After all, he’d achieved his dream: a high-status, high-income job at a fast-moving startup. But the 26-year-old product manager felt unhappy and stressed-out. He longed for a coach who could help him develop a strategy for professional growth. But coaching resources were available only to senior-level executives at his company. With more questions than answers, Alexi quit his job, partnered up with his long-time friend, Eddie Medina, and started surveying thousands of working professionals to learn their thoughts about purpose and fulfillment. What they discovered was startling. Meaningful work is so important to people that they’re willing to sacrifice up to a quarter of their lifetime earnings to have it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when employees feel their work has meaning, businesses perform better. So, in 2013, Alexi and Eddie — joined by a passionate team of behavioral scientists, doctors, AI experts, and technologists — co-founded BetterUp to democratize high-quality virtual coaching, counseling, and mental health support for all workplace professionals, not just senior executives.

When we met Alexi and Eddie, we instantly knew that they shared our passion for helping people unlock their true potential by equipping employees with the right tools, resources, and analyses to amplify their professional and holistic growth on a global scale. ICONIQ Growth’s core thesis has always revolved around a deep conviction that technology matters, but people matter most. At ICONIQ Growth, we believe that each employee’s journey is unique and deserving of the very best systems to augment and elevate their professional journey. We’ve been fortunate to learn from the world’s most successful executives who have dedicated their careers to fostering strong company cultures, like leading Chief People Officers Katie Burke of HubSpot and Joan Burke of DocuSign who recently joined us for an online conversation. As technology investors, we’ve brought our focus on people into many of the businesses we’ve invested in from day one. We’re proud that our portfolio companies are working to transform the lives of people all over the world in unique ways.

Today, we’re proud to continue investing in our people-first thesis and are thrilled to announce our lead investment in BetterUp’s $125M Series D as part of that mission. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Alexi, Eddie, Gabriella, Damian, Ryan, Vinh, and the entire BetterUp team to support their work in building the world’s leading People Experience Platform.

Under Alexi’s leadership as CEO, BetterUp has cultivated an extraordinary network of over 2,000 carefully curated, best-of-class coaches and serves more than 300 enterprise organizations, including Hilton, NASA, Chevron, Mars, Genentech, Snap Inc., and Warner Media. The company’s results for its enterprise partners are astounding. BetterUp’s platform improves workers’ psychological and emotional health, leading to a 77% reduction in stress, a 35% decrease in burnout, a 75% increase in improved nutrition, and 2.4 times enhancement in sleep habits and feelings of rest — all of which enhance cognitive and emotional function. Most significantly, 73% of people using BetterUp reported an “amazing” or “life-changing” experience.

We’re excited to join our friends at Threshold Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Crosslink, and Freestyle Capital as BetterUp embarks on the next phase of its journey, one with the potential to impact all of us. As Alexi says, “We started BetterUp based on a simple idea, that we’re human beings first and employees second.”