Upduo, a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer learning platform for data-driven teams, has announced a $4 million seed round. Impact Venture Capital led the funding round, with participation from Sky9 Capital and angels such as Tim Crow, former Home Depot Chief Human Resources Officer.
Upduo began in a high school math class where co-founder and teacher Mike Mendelson connected students to assist one another with difficult questions. This learning application quickly transitioned to the workplace, where teams collaborated on best practices to advance their personal career development while driving business results. Today, Upduo uses best practices in education and peer-to-peer learning to empower sales and retail workers to be fast, prepared, and engaged.
Upduo identifies the best pairs in a company for skill practice and intentional conversations about core business topics. Partners then connect via the Upduo mobile app to participate in guided one-on-one video conversations designed to boost confidence, practice new concepts, and answer questions. Sales representatives, for example, may connect to practice a new pitch, discuss new product offerings, and share best practices for delighting customers. Upduo sessions are designed to be short and engaging, utilizing gratification features to help employees feel recognized for their accomplishments, while its team of licensed educators assists businesses in designing the ideal conversations to maximize engagement, authenticity, and impact.
Over 500,000 learning sessions have occurred on Upduo since 2020, with teams located in over 1,000 customer locations. Amazon, Motorola, McKinsey, and Prime Communications are among Upduo’s notable clients. Teams that use Upduo for internal training on a regular basis see significant improvements in metrics such as employee retention and add-on sales.
Upduo intends to use the new funding to address the training needs of even more industries and to use machine learning to deliver intelligent personalized learning for teams. Upduo plans to expand its gamification features in order to increase employee retention by making employees feel valued on the job. Daniela Cruz, a former Google executive, joins as a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer to lead the company’s new AI initiatives.