Yannis Niebelschuetz is the founder and CEO at CoachHub, the leading global talent development platform that enables organizations to create a personalized, measurable and scalable coaching program for the entire workforce, regardless of department and seniority level.
I had the opportunity to interview Yannis recently. Here are some of the highlights of that interview:
Jill Griffin: I understand that your own individual experience with coaching inspired you to start a digital coaching business. Could you detail your experience with business coaching? How did that experience lead you to cofounding CoachHub with your brother?
Yannis Niebelschuetz: When I was fresh out of university, my brother Matti and I founded our first company together. I came to the role armed with the theoretical business knowledge and academic credentials earned over years of studying. But I lacked practical experience. I struggled to find my leadership style, prioritize my time and manage my team. Matti and I hired a business coach to work out the kinks. Little did I know just how impactful this coach would be to our young e-commerce business and to the trajectory of our lives. Coaching not only developed my leadership skills, it taught me how to be a better person — both inside and outside of the office.
After successfully exiting our first company, my brother and I went on to pursue different professional opportunities, but we couldn’t shake the power of our coaching experiences. What if employees at all career levels could access coaches? How would coaching impact them, their organizations and the entire world? Four years ago, during what was supposed to be a regular visit between brothers, a conversation about democratizing coaching became a business idea. We created CoachHub, a digital platform that connects employees all over the world to high-quality business coaches.
Griffin: What is your role at CoachHub now? What is your brother’s involvement with the company? How do you work together as siblings and professionals?
Niebelschuetz: CoachHub has grown quite a bit since my brother and I launched the company from my living room in 2018. As the managing director of operations and finance, Matti oversees our more than 5,000 worldwide clients and 3,500 certified coaches and steers the company’s financial decisions. I am the co-founder and CEO, concentrating on expanding CoachHub’s global footprint and bringing a coaching culture to even more enterprises. Through our own individual coaching, the two of us have learned how to complement each other as colleagues and siblings.
Griffin: Could you elaborate on CoachHub’s vision to “democratize coaching?” What did coaching look like before democratization? And what progress are you making in providing coaching to the masses? How do businesses measure results?
Niebelschuetz: Historically, businesses have provided coaches for rising executives or leaders with glaring problems. But coaching can be a transformative part of long-term people development for everyone in an organization, regardless of seniority. Personalized coaching strategies play to employees’ strengths, improve their weaknesses and ultimately develop highly effective, inspiring leaders. From the very beginning, Matti and I saw CoachHub as the coaching solution that would democratize coaching by providing these benefits to entire workforces. So, we built a digital platform that makes coaching for the masses cost-effective, accessible and convenient. By delivering coaching digitally, we use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms to tailor each coaching experience and share valuable insights with HR departments and other stakeholders (without sharing personal data).
Griffin: I saw that you raised a $200 million Series C funding round last week. How will this new investment further your mission to democratize coaching and how will the funds be used?
Niebelschuetz: We are on a mission to make sure every employee, regardless of department or seniority level, has access to digital coaching. This new investment will further drive that mission, especially in the North American market. North America offers huge opportunities as the US is not only the largest economy in the world, but also the largest established market for coaching. The $200M funding round will help us reinforce our teams and product innovation across the US and Canada. We’re continuing the success we’ve found in some of the world’s largest economies, and our unique science-based and qualitative approach to digital coaching — along with our global category leadership and infrastructure — puts us in a unique position to drive innovation and growth in the market.
Griffin: What’s the most unique thing about CoachHub?
Niebelschuetz: CoachHub’s location-independent, flexible SaaS platform is capable of bringing business coaching to every employee in each corner of the world. The platform provides a comprehensive coaching experience with live one-on-one video coaching sessions supported by on-demand content such as articles and exercises that help coachees along their learning journeys. And although the industry is largely unregulated, we are committed to quality. We only hire top-tier coaches certified by professional coaching associations (i.e., ICF, AC, EMCC) and have extensive business experience. We invest in the ongoing support and education of our coaches to maintain alignment with coaching ethics, and integrity of practice and enhance the evidence-based approaches our coaches leverage when working with coachees.
Griffin: Do you still have a business coach? What kind of benefits, if any, do you still get from coaching? What benefits does your business promise to those signing up for the app?
Niebelschuetz: I still have a business coach and always will. As a matter of fact, CoachHub provides coaching to all our employees as a standard benefit. After all, we could all use help navigating uncertainty and managing burnout after the last two years of pandemic-fueled volatility and workplace change. Like most fast-scaling enterprises, we also want to boost job performance, build leadership skills and improve the general well-being of our workforce. Not only does coaching have this tremendous impact on individuals, it also lifts up entire organizations. Our clients have increased employee retention, attracted top talent, created more agile, resilient workforces and improved their bottom lines. These are the results Matti and I saw in ourselves and our business, and we’re thrilled to bring those coaching benefits to people across the globe.