NEW YORK — Chief, which operates a private social network for female executives, has secured $15 million in new funding from all of its existing investors, including General Catalyst, Inspired Capital, GGV Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Flybridge Capital and BoxGroup.
This latest round brings Chief’s total funding to $40 million. Headquartered in NYC, Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan founded and launched Chief in January 2019. In its first year, the network grew to more than 2,000 senior leaders in New York, representing over 500 companies and a waitlist of more than 8,000.
Chief unites leading women in business to create successions of power by facilitating deep connections across roles and industries. Thousands of senior executives in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have joined, representing companies including Google, IBM, HBO, Chobani, Walmart, Visa, Teladoc, Doctors Without Borders and The New York Times.
“When we founded Chief, we set out to create a community that would support women leaders for their lifetime, even through global disruption,” said Carolyn Childers, co-founder and CEO of Chief. “When you surround yourself with peers who are equally qualified, intelligent and capable, the impossible suddenly becomes possible. In an uncertain world, we have never been more certain about the power of community to drive meaning, support and connection. Chief was built for this moment.”
Now, more than ever, Chief is doubling down on its commitment to connect, support and inspire powerful women leaders. This mission is resonating deeply with members as they forge together to navigate critical and unprecedented business decisions during unexpected circumstances.
“The loyalty of the Chief community and the demand for membership driving the company’s growth, are striking,” said Ken Chenault, chairman and managing director, General Catalyst. “Carolyn and Lindsay remain ambitious in their approach as they embark on expanding Chief to meet the evolving needs of its members, including through Personal Executive Coaching, the Chief Hiring Board and virtual offerings to stay connected. We’re proud to continue to support Chief as they execute on scaling their mission.”
“Women can be extraordinary allies for each other, and this is magnified in greater numbers,” said Robin Li, Principal at GGV Capital, a Founding Chief Member who joins as Board Observer. “I’ve been a part of Chief since the beginning, and in no time I’ve watched this community create and pull levers of power for real progress. There’s an energy that’s kinetic and enduring, especially in the most challenging times.”
In response to the global pandemic, Chief shifted its banner services and programming to become completely virtual. Its member services include Core Groups (Chief’s critically acclaimed peer group experience); community chat platform, and event programming — including leadership workshops, conversations with industry icons and community roundtables. In April, participation in Chief events tripled, and Core Groups have had record high attendance and satisfaction, indicating the overwhelming demand for Chief’s brand of mentorship and support.
New funds will work to accelerate Chief’s growth to meet demand in new cities and fast-track the technology infrastructure to support expanded services. Most immediately, Chief has introduced Personal Executive Coaching with its roster of top-tier coaches, and the Chief Hiring Board — a platform for members to privately list best-in-class, diverse candidates and job openings. Expansion to Los Angeles and Chicago is underway, with Founding Members in both cities already taking advantage of Chief’s services.
“We’ve always described ourselves as a community that happens to have a space, not a space that a community is built around,” said Lindsay Kaplan, co-founder of Chief. “This is especially evident right now. There has never been a more important time for women to come together.”