Toronto-based startup Ten Thousand Coffees has secured a $75 million CAD ($56 million USD) round in its first institutional raise since it was founded eight years ago.

The financing came from United States-based growth equity firm Five Elms Capital.

Ten Thousand Coffees has developed a talent platform for employees that provides what it calls inclusive mentoring, employee connectivity, and skills development.

The startup was created by CEO Dave Wilkin and CTO Elliott Garcea after they realized the need for talent development from their own personal experience and conversations with numerous CEOs and Fortune 500 leaders.

“As an LGBT+ entrepreneur who grew up in a small, rural town, I experienced firsthand that connections and mentors were critical to opportunities and belonging. That’s why we built 10KC [Ten Thousand Coffees],” said Wilkin. “Since inception, it’s been our mission to use technology to build more inclusive work environments.”

Ten Thousand Coffees names large brands like EY, IBM, RBC, and Thomson Reuters among its more than 200 customers.

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Five Elms Capital is a growth equity firm that invests in B2B software businesses. Its thesis can span early- to growth-stage financing, and Five Elms Capital notes that it will invest between $5 million to $75 million (all numbers USD) in companies with $2 million to $20 million in revenues, and take either a minority or majority stake. Ten Thousand Coffees did not disclose whether Five Elms Capital has taken a majority stake in the startup.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having created a need for remote talent development, Ten Thousand Coffees was able to optimize on the shift to hybrid work. The company claims a 120 percent net client retention rate. The startup plans to use its first institutional financing to build out its product roadmap and increase its global reach. It plans to hire in the roles of sales, as well as a vice president of marketing to push forward those efforts.

“Hybrid and decentralized work is here to stay and, as a result, employers can’t ignore the lack of connection employees are feeling,” said Stephanie Schneider, partner at Five Elms Capital. “Organizations of all sizes need a winning mentoring and employee connection solution to meet their engagement, diversity, and retention goals in this new world of work.”

Image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by Justin Bhalla.

The post Mentorship startup Ten Thousand Coffees raises $75 million CAD from US-based Five Elms Capital first appeared on BetaKit.

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