Dealflow | July 25, 2018

Guild raises $40 million to expand wage-worker education

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 25 – Denver-based Guild Education has raised a Series C round less than a year after closing its $21 million Series B funding.

Guild partners with companies to help America’s 60 million frontline workers affordably enroll in higher education and skill development so they can move up the career and income ladder. The company was launched by Rachel Carlson and Brittany Stich in 2015 and has nearly tripled its staff (from 60 to 160) since it’s Series B raise last year. It has also signed new corporate partners, like Walmart. 

Felicis Ventures led the round out of its $200 million fifth fund and was joined by Salesforce Ventures, Workday Ventures, Rethink Impact & Education, SVB and return backers.

“There’s a lot of friction for front-line workers trying to go to college, in terms of for-profit predatory schools and all the complicated paperwork,” Felicis’ Wes Chan said. “[Guild CEO Rachel Carlson] solved that by working with a set of nonprofit higher-ed institutions, and having a mission of helping these students actually graduate, by creating a process that includes coaching and advising.”

Menlo Park-based Felicis doesn’t call itself an impact investor; it “invests in iconic companies reinventing core markets as well as those creating frontier technologies,” many of which have positive impact like: personal finance company Credit Karma; Clear Labs, which makes food safety tech; online health consulting platform First Opinion. Felicis’ investment in Guild is its largest investment since launching in 2006.