Fingerprint for Success (F4S), an artificial intelligence (AI)-based performance coaching startup used by tech companies such as Atlassian, AWS, Hubspot and Canva has raised $6.5 million in a second Seed round.
The raise was led by local VC Investible and its syndicate group, Club Investible, supported by US firms Five V Capital, and Salesforce Ventures.
Investible has backed F4S since its $1.1m pre-Seed round in 2016, supported by global coaching and mentoring firm ROCeteer.
Canva cofounders Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams like F4S so much, they invested in the initial $1.5 million Seed raise in 2019 alongside former PM Malcolm Turnbull, and again in this follow-up round, alongside Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Wedgetail founder Lisa Kate Miller, HiPages cofounder David Vitek, and serial entrepreneur and investor Roger Allen.
F4S has now raised $9.2 million in total.
Veteran professional coach Michelle Duval founded F4S to scale her craft and take it beyond the realm of athletes, CEOs and the famous to make it more accessible and affordable. She assembled a team of behavioural and data scientists, engineers and coaches to create the world’s first science-powered professional and personal development platform.
Called Marlee – an Aboriginal term word for an “elder tree”, representing growth and transformation – the AI coach launched in 2021 and has already delivered more than 900,000 minutes of coaching towards around 100,000 goals across 20,000 organisations in 194 countries.
Duval said the company has seen 300% YoY user growth from the US, UK and India, taking companies beyond a traditional bias for “hard” technical skills training they saw as necessary for performance.
“It’s actually the ‘soft’ or what we like to call human skills that have proven time and time again to make or break teams and are the most crucial in building goal-oriented, efficient and purpose-driven teams,” she said.
“Coach Marlee is improving personal, team and company performance. We’re building self confidence, self esteem, and helping teams work better together. Ultimately, we’re helping people find meaning and fulfilment at work.”
The funds are earmarked towards making the platform’s real-time personal and team insights and coaching accessible via additional third party integrations on platforms such as Slack and Zoom.
“We’re looking forward to strengthening our market footprint across the US, the UK and Asia Pacific, and to ship even more value to our users and teams,” Duval said
F4S has an applicant tracking integration with HR software Greenhouse to provide hiring managers with intel on candidate suitability and success in the culture of their potential new workplace.
Duval believes Generative AI, embodied by ChatGPT’s instant success, gives F4S’s momentum for its Conversational AI models.
“There’s a driving need to rapidly grow resources and solutions to solve the complex problems Gen Alpha, GenZs and Millennials inherit,” she said.
“F4S’s scalable technology is an always ready, real time solution to optimize the otherwise untapped potential within our future problem solvers helping both individuals and teams to invent and navigate brighter futures.”
Investible cofounder Trevor Folsom said the ability to unlock, streamline and enhance soft skills at work is crucial for high-performance teams.
“Michelle and her team at F4S have managed to use technology to shape the future of work by helping businesses build a stronger, more resilient workforce,” shares Trevor.
Among Marlee’s fans are Reshmi Buthello, VP of People and Culture at Sydney self-driving LiDAR startup Baraja.
“Our team is embracing the F4S experience. With Coach Marlee, we’re seeing a significant increase in team engagement and retention,” she said.
“Our teams have the power of an “always-on” coach that is not only personalised to individual drivers and motivations, but as a powerful cloud-based solution it’s also scalable to support our ever-changing team dynamics.”
More at f4s.com.