Women’s leadership network Chief surges to unicorn status – TechCrunch

As Ariana Grande would say, god is a woman.

So it should come as no surprise that Chief, the network designed to develop the leadership skills of women, has hit a $1.1 billion valuation in a matter of three years.

The startup, led by founders Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan, just raised a $100 million Series B round led by Alphabet’s CapitalG. Partner Laela Sturdy will join the board as part of the deal. Other investors in the round include General Catalyst, GGV Capital, Inspired Capital, Primary Ventures and Flybridge.

Chief has now raised a total of $140 million.

Though the company didn’t specify numerically, it said in a release that it grew significantly through the pandemic after going virtual, and was able to more easily expand nationally in that format.

As it stands now, Chief membership counts more than 12,000 senior executives from more than 8,500 companies, including HBO, American Express, Nike, Google, Goldman Sachs, NASA, Chobani, Pfizer, Apple and more. The startup says it has more than 60,000 women around the world hanging out on the waitlist.

This raise comes at a time when professional development is heating up. Companies like Medley and Hone have both raised recently. LinkedIn has doubled down on development with a new learning hub. And many other companies have sprouted up in the past several years to grab a piece of the pie, including Torch, Ureeka and Rising Team, to name a few.

It’s a hot space, and Chief is now capitalized to move aggressively and capture the market.

Also, in case you’re interested, check out our episode of the Found podcast with Medley co-founders Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor here.

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