Thrive Global, a behavior change media and technology company founded by Arianna Huffington, has raised an additional $30 million in its second round of funding. The New York-based start-up is currently valued at $120. The new investors include Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and venture firm IVP. Benioff invested $5 million and IVP has invested $20 million. They join another new investor Marketo co-founder and former CEO Phil Fernandez and early investors including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Advancit Capital and entrepreneur Sean Parker.
In the first round of funding 18 months ago, the company raised $7 million.
In just their first year, Thrive Global has become the global market leader in reducing stress and burnout in the workplace. The start-up aims to eliminate stress and burnout felt by employees by offering science-based solutions to increase well-being, performance, and purpose. They want to change people’s relationship with technology to a healthy one.
Huffington is one of Uber’s board members. She previously spent time as the director of the company and she said that her time there was a learning experience of the dangers of a workplace that is growing too quickly.
“We are not some fluffy, nice-to-have service for companies to deal with stressed workers,” Huffington said. “Companies are realizing that to create a sustainable business they need to pay attention to employees — and not in an eat-your-broccoli way, but in a way that engages them and improves their lives.”
Thrive Global has about 30 clients currently, including JPMorgan, SAP and Hilton.
“More and more companies are realizing that there is a fundamental connection between their employees’ well-being and the bottom line,” Huffington said in an interview earlier this week. “The goal really is to sort of end the delusion that in order to succeed you have to burn out.”
Huffington has said she will use the $30 million for new hiring. She is planning on hiring 40 new staff members, doubling her current staff. The hires will be mostly technical so that Thrive Global’s platform can be more automated. She is looking especially for talented female engineers.