Here’s an exclusive look at the pitch deck two former VCs used to raise $4.7 million in funding for their startup The Grand, whose coaching service is used by Googlers, founders, and NBA players alike

  • The Grand, a startup providing career coaching as a service, has raised $4.7 million in new funding.
  • Employers can offer group sessions to certain teams or roles at their companies.
  • The Grand recently signed a contract with the NBA to work with players pursuing new opportunities.

The Grand, a four-year-old startup that provides career coaching as a service, has raised $4.7 million in seed funding led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six in the midst of a funding lottery for young startups.

Anita Hossain Choudhry and Rei Wang had an advantage when it came to creating the pitch deck they used to convince venture capitalists to back their startup. They’ve seen dozens of similar presentations. Before starting their own company, the two met as employees at First Round Capital, where Hossain Choudhry led initiatives ranging from summits to content and Wang ran its student-focused venture fund, Dorm Room Fund.

The Grand arose from their years of working closely with tech founders and builders, through the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey.

The company’s goal is to make career coaching more accessible to professionals. It organizes members into pods of six to eight people who are in a similar role, at a similar level, or have similar work and life goals, and hosts group sessions on a regular basis. While anyone can join, the majority of members come to The Grand as a corporate benefit. Closed groups can also be created by employers for specific teams or roles.

“The Grand exists to make the world a less lonely place,” said Wang, the company’s chief product officer.

The Grand generates revenue by charging a subscription fee of $2,700 per person per year. Companies that use The Grand’s service include fast-growing startups like Notion, Stripe, and Oscar, as well as publicly traded tech giants like Google, LinkedIn, and Intuit.

According to Wang, one of the fastest-growing segments of the business is coaching for founders, which is now offered as a perk by venture firms such as First Round, Redpoint, Forerunner, Freestyle, and Seven Seven Six.

“There’s this pressure that you have to be ‘on’ all the time,” Wang said as a founder. If you’re speaking with a reporter or an investor, I need to have all the answers ready, and they have to be punchy and perfect.” Wang’s goal with The Grand is to “create a safe place where founders don’t have to have all the answers, where they can ask questions and share what it’s really like to be a founder.”

The Grand’s service is distinguished by its use of group settings, but it is not the first to do so. BetterUp, a startup that offers individual and group coaching and has raised $600 million in funding, is the goliath of coaching startups. Startups that offer mental-health care to employees have attracted an increasing share of capital in a post-pandemic world, as businesses increase their support.

With the help of an early investor, The Grand has entered a new vertical this year: professional sports. In May, the women’s soccer team Angel City Football Club announced that The Grand had become its official leadership coaching provider, working with the club’s players, staff, and non-profit partners “to help them thrive both on and off the field.” Beginning this fall, The Grand will do the same for basketball players as part of an NBA program that assists players as they transition out of the sport and explore their options.

The Grand now has around 1,000 members, including Googlers, founders, and professional athletes.

The new investment comes at a difficult time for young businesses. For much of last year, startups in their early stages escaped the worst effects of a stock market crash and a sharp drop in venture capital funding. That is no longer the case, according to data. Carta recorded 441 seed rounds in the second quarter of this year, the slowest quarter for deal activity since early 2019. Even so, some startups are succeeding.

View the pitch deck used by The Grand to secure $4.7 million in seed funding.

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