Knowledge is power. And in this case, it’s big business too.
Guild Education, which helps Fortune 500 companies offer debt-free degrees to their employees, has just more than tripled its prior valuation to $3.7 billion after raising $150 million in Series E funding.
The Logistics of Learning
Denver-based Guild has a three-pronged approach to education – employers, employees, and schools. Guild partners with large employers like Taco Bell, Walmart, and Disney to connect their employees with universities and other learning providers via its marketplace, taking a cut of tuition for its part.
3 million workers can now earn high school up to bachelor’s and master’s degrees with varying levels of financial assistance from their employer – Walmart, for example, asks participating employees to contribute $1/day. But Guild’s corporate partners aren’t just in it for the philanthropy:
- Companies are desperate for degrees: over the past year, nearly 3/4 of U.S. firms reported major talent shortages. That’s the highest level in a decade.
- And Chipotle – a Guild partner since 2019 that covers 100% of employee tuition – revealed in April that participating in Guild programs makes frontline workers 7.5 times more likely to advance to a management role.
With the $150 million in new funding, Guild will expand its engineering and educational coaching teams and add more offerings – like various certification courses – to its learning marketplaces.
Augmenting employee skill sets or “upskilling” is gaining prominence as businesses face a dwindling talent pipeline and workers look to pad their resumés in an increasingly automated world:
- A recent Gartner survey found 58% of the workforce needs new skill sets just to perform their current jobs successfully.
Two Birds, One Stone: “As both employees and employers look to be competitive for the future of work, upskilling has quickly become the logical answer,” said Guild founder and CEO Rachel Carlson. Her company is certainly betting on it.