Modern Compliance Training Startup Ethena Announces $30 Million Series B
BROOKLYN (June 7, 2022) — Ethena, a modern compliance training platform, announced it raised a $30 million Series B, led by Lachy Groom, with participation from existing investors including Felicis, Neo, Homebrew, and others. They’ve also welcomed angel investors including Jack Altman, Mathilde Collin, William Hockey, Gretchen Howard, and Claire Johnson. It will use the capital to build out additional compliance product lines and expand its core training technology.
“Businesses are held to a much higher standard than ever before. Employees expect companies to build inclusive and ethical workplaces — and compliance, when done right, does exactly that,” said Roxanne Petraeus, CEO and co-founder of Ethena. “Modern companies don’t want to just ‘check the box,’ they want to use data-driven approaches to educate employees and spot issues proactively. This latest round of support allows us to continue building out a compliance operating system designed for today’s teams.”
When the company was founded in 2019, it was clear that the old way of doing compliance training — dated videos sent out yearly — wasn’t working. According to a Gallup poll, only 10% of employees strongly agree that they learned something from their compliance training. In contrast, Ethena’s solution, which delivers digestible training over time, is highly effective: For example, learners who completed Ethena’s Harassment Prevention training reported a 61% increase in confidence intervening on behalf of a colleague.
The company applies its innovative content and delivery method — bite-sized compliance trainings delivered over time via Slack or email— to a variety of topics. These range from Code of Conduct, to diversity, equity and inclusion to hiring and interviewing. More than 50,000 active users from companies including Netflix, Zendesk, Carta, and Figma complete training activities on the platform each month.
“Ethena’s superpower is in delivering training such that people actually learn. Yes, it’s key that training is bite sized, delivered when it’s maximally impactful, with modern, relevant content – but the real impact comes from designing for efficacy. That’s dramatically different from how things used to be done,” added Frances Frei, Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School and a member of Ethena’s Advisory Board.
“I believe in tackling entrenched problems, and Ethena embodies a first principles approach to solving an issue that is both painful but crucial for all businesses,” Groom said. “From our very first meeting it was clear there were parallels to the experience we had at Stripe. Ethena transforms what’s currently just a pain point– compliance obligations – and turns that into an opportunity.”
"With new regulations, compliance training has gotten more complicated; at the same time the evolving workplace has made it more necessary than ever," said Victoria Treyger, Ethena Board member and General Partner at Felicis Ventures. “What Ethena does is the ultimate balancing act—making compliance training effective and engaging while also meeting regulatory requirements. We're proud to support Ethena as they continue to be pioneers in this space."
Ethena provides innovative, effective training for companies. Instead of just checking a box, Ethena training builds ethical and inclusive company cultures while providing admins with a seamless software experience to navigate the increasingly-complex web of compliance training requirements. Ethena was founded by Roxanne Petraeus and Anne Solmssen, who drew upon their diverse backgrounds in the U.S. Army, consulting and startups to reinvent the stuffy world of corporate training. Ethena was named one of the most promising enterprise startups in 2021 by Insider. Learn more at www.goethena.com.