Oprah Joins Guild Education Investors, Raising Value To $4.4 Billion

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One of the most prominent upskilling companies in Denver has just secured a large fundraising round that has raised its value to $4.4 billion.

Earlier this week, Guild Education announced that it had secured a $175 million Series F round of funding in order to accelerate its expansion and capitalize on the growing demand for upskilling possibilities.  Oprah Winfrey and Bon Secours Mercy Health, a current employer partner of Guild, are among the investors in the Series F round led by Boston-based Wellington Management. A statement from Oprah Winfrey stated that she believes education can “change the trajectory of a person’s life, and Guild is creating a more equitable path.”

As a bridge between businesses and educational institutions, Guild makes it easier for workers to take advantage of free or low-cost educational opportunities offered by their employers thanks to its simplified payment system. In what it terms its “learning marketplace,” or Career Opportunity Platform, it has partnered with big businesses such as Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and Waste Management (NYSE: WM) to offer educational and upskilling options, such as certificate and degree programs.

When the firm was founded in 2015, companies were looking for ways to recruit and keep their future workers. These perks were made available to 5 million workers of partner firms in the last year.

As of January 2022, according to the firm, retail, hotels, and health care have all seen considerable growth. Partnerships with UCHealth and Children’s Hospital Colorado have been announced in the Denver area, as well. Macy’s, Kohl’s, Tyson Foods, Hilton, and PepsiCo are among the other major employers that are partners in this program.

According to a news statement announcing the Series F round, the fresh money would enable Guild to continue helping companies invest in their staff. Each company has different educational and training possibilities available via Guild.

The vast majority of workers eligible for Guild programs are in front-line positions that serve the general public, including as retail and restaurant workers, according to a recent report. One of Guild’s partners, Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), informed DBJ in March that it would spend $13 million on Guild benefits in 2020 and another $15 million in 2021. According to a corporate representative, in the year 2020, the firm had around 450 workers and now has 1,500.