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Torch.io raises $10M to help teams make better decisions

Coaching creates optimal interpersonal dynamics so that firms make the right 10,000 decisions needed to succeed together

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Torch.io CEO and cofounder Cameron Yarbrough

We’re very excited to announce the next chapter of Torch.io, founded by Cameron Yarbrough and Keegan Walden. We led the seed round last year, and are excited to be co-investors with Edward Yip from Norwest Venture Partners who is leading a $10M Series A with participation from Initialized and YC Continuity Fund.

I first got to know Cameron years ago when he was in training to become a therapist, and I was working on my first startup. He helped me through a difficult time in my life dealing with conflict in a high stress startup environment, and along the way, he discovered that there were direct ways in which psychology and therapy can directly affect the course of businesses through the interpersonal dynamics of their founders and management teams. Years later, he became my executive coach as I first learned to be a startup investor at Y Combinator, and since then he has helped generations of founders learn about how to work with one another collaboratively and with empathy to make the most important decisions every single day.

The best startup ideas come out of the question: “What do you know that nobody else knows?” Early on, Cameron was able to see this very clearly, and along the way discovered that companies both large and small struggle with what he was helping people with on a day to day basis:

  • How to disagree
  • How to create an environment of high love and high structure
  • How to work together, and ultimately how to come to the best decisions collaboratively.

Most people have to figure this out alone, and the CEO or leader has to singularly advocate for this. Managers can breathe a sigh of relief when they realize they’re not alone here, and coaches can help transform an entire team in a matter of months.

When management fails to create a good environment, many great startups fail because of lack of exactly this kind of strong leadership. Really smart people with great ideas who come from the best schools sometimes fail because of a blind spot about their personality, or a quirk in how they approach organizations.

Torch.io is building a platform that highlights a leader’s interpersonal blind spots, and then creates an action plan that helps them get better.

Software can facilitate lots of conversations that need to happen

Through Torch.io, Cameron discovered that there are simple software-based tools that can frame these problems and make them solvable on a systematic basis. How exactly do they do this?

  • Regular online coaching sessions with an executive coach who can work directly with employees to coach them through their day-to-day challenges
  • Regular 360 degree reviews
  • Bi-weekly feedback surveys by stakeholders within the organization

They’re able to do this for each person on a team starting at $500 per month.

Real results through coaching

A company’s total enterprise value is the result of years of compounding smart decisions. Any given decision that a founder or their direct reports will typically exceed that, and if you compound that by the thousands of decisions a team makes over the course of year, that’s a matter of make-or-break for most businesses large and small.

Smart people need nurturing environments that are high love and high structure to do their best, and Torch.io is poised to make every workplace that much better through amazing software-enabled executive coaching.

You can try torch.io for your business now, large or small, at https://torch.io.