Guild Education Ranks No. 5 on 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50 List

Guild Education Empowers the WorkforceCNBC released its 10th annual Disruptor 50 list on May 17. Guild Education, a leader in career mobility technology, made the list at No. 5. This is proof that the Denver-based company is making big moves — it shot up 44 places since ranking No. 49 in 2021.

According to CNBC, its Disruptor list “highlights private companies that grew through the ups and downs of the pandemic and are poised to meet increasing economic and consumer challenges.” Flexport, Brex, Lineage Logistics, and Canva rounded out the top five. Guild tweeted, “We are honored to make the @CNBC Disruptor 50 list and be recognized for our work to transform the status quo to unlock opportunities for America’s front-line workforce through education and upskilling.”

Facts About the 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50 Companies

  • Nine of the disruptors, including Guild Education, have female founders.
  • Forty of the companies have made social or environmental purposes the core of their business model.
  • Ten of the disruptors are in the logistics sector.
  • Sixteen of the companies include CEOs from racial and ethnic minorities.
  • Eight companies are reducing costs in the health care system.
  • In total, these firms raised a half-trillion dollars in venture capital.
  • Forty-one of the included firms are unicorns that have a valuation of $1 billion or more.
  • Fourteen of the firms have a valuation of over $10 billion.

How Guild Education Empowers the American Workforce

How Guild Education Empowers the American Workforce

According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of employees are “job seekers” looking for greener pastures to earn a paycheck. This is why Guild Education, which, since launching in 2015, has been helping companies make education affordable by offering debt-free degrees to employees, is such an asset. It believes in “education as a benefit.” Users can enroll in programs from high school diplomas to trades, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees on its platform.

According to the company, “There are more than 30 million working adults without a high school diploma, and 70% of the U.S. population doesn’t have a college diploma. Rather than look at a college degree as a passport to a job, Guild is trying to help working Americans get the education they need with the help of employer-sponsored benefits.”

Co-founder and CEO Rachel Carlson said, “At Guild, we are on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education. We do this by offering our employer partners a full technology platform and a diverse network of the nation’s top accredited universities tailored toward the success of working adults.”

Carlson explained, “Guild’s network also includes a wide variety of certificates and credentials in workforce topics, from software engineering and product management to plumbing and electrical trades, as well as English as a second language, college prep, and high school completion.”

The career mobility leader is proof that affordable education translates into big business. Companies that have partnered with Guild to expand educational benefits include The Walt Disney Company, Target, Walmart, Discovery Financial, Kohl’s, Chipotle, Lowe’s, and Taco Bell.

In a Series E round from Bessemer Venture Partners, Cowboy Ventures, D1, Emerson Collective, General Catalyst, GSV, Harrison Metal, ICONIQ, Redpoint, and Salesforce Ventures, the company raised $150 million. It’s now valued at $3.7 billion. The company uses that fresh financing to expand its coaching staff and increase the number of short-term certificates it offers. Guild is also expanding its outreach to historically Black colleges and universities.

“Guild has brought together a diverse network of nonprofit, accredited universities with the nation’s best outcomes for working adults,” Carlson said. “Our network includes more than 1,600 programs helping students attend schools around the U.S. like the University of Arizona, Southern New Hampshire University, Brandman University, Bellevue University, University of Central Florida, and Purdue Global to earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.”

She added, “We see employers choosing programs that meet the needs of their workforce with an emphasis on the training needed to prepare employees for jobs of the future. Through our employer partners, 400,000 working adults have begun exploring their pathway to school with Guild.”

Guild Is in Good Company

Canva made its Disruptor 50 list debut in the No. 4 spot just above Guild Education. The free-to-use Australian graphic design platform is popular for making posters and videos, logos and graphics for social media. CEO Melanie Perkins said their secret to success has been to “solve customer problems and make sure that the customer is representative of a large market, and then you will have a pretty good formula.”

Michigan-based Lineage Logistics climbed from No. 17 in 2021 to the No. 3 position on the Disruptors list. According to CNBC, Lineage Logistics’ mission “is to transform the food supply chain by operating a global network of temperature-controlled cold-storage facilities for proteins, bakery products, dairy, and fruits and vegetables.”

Brex, which has a $12.3 billion valuation, landed at No. 2 on the list after sitting at No. 6 in 2021. Startups turn to Brex for credit lines and financial management software. It has over 10,000 corporate customers, including DoorDash and Airbnb. “We want to help companies build a culture of trust — but one of financial discipline so that it’s not a free for all,” co-CEO Henrique Dubugras said.

CNBC’s No. 1 Disruptor is Flexport, which jumped from No. 41 in 2021. Flexport has more than 10,000 clients and suppliers in 112 countries. According to CNBC, “The company’s freight forwarding and brokerage services are in the cloud, enabling it to analyze costs, container efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions quickly and with more accuracy than legacy systems. With fresh financing, the company says it plans to begin expanding into new markets and accelerate the development of its technology. It now has offices in 23 countries and is nearing 3,000 employees.”

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