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Torch takes $10M to teach empathy to executives

When everyone always tells you ‘yes’, you can become a monster. Leaders especially need honest feedback to grow. “If you look at rich people like Donald Trump and you neglect them, you get more Donald Trumps” says Torch co-founder and CEO Cameron Yarbrough about our gruff president. His app wants to make executive coaching (a polite word for therapy) part of even the busiest executive’s schedule. Torch conducts a 360 interview with a client and their employees to assess weaknesses, lays out improvement goals, and provides one-on-one video chat sessions with trained counselors.
“Essentially we’re trying to help that person develop the capacity to be a more loving human being in the workplace” Yarbrough explains. That’s crucial in the age of ‘hustle porn’ where everyone tries to pretend they’re working all the time and constantly ‘crushing it’. That can leave leaders facing challenges feeling alone and unworthy. Torch wants to provide a private place to reach out for a helping hand or shoulder to cry on.
Now Torch is ready to lead the way to better management for more companies, as it’s just raised  $10 million Series A round led by Norwest Ventures along with Initialized Capital, Y Combinator, and West Ventures. It already has 100 clients including Reddit and Atrium, but the new cash will fuel its go-to market strategy. Rather than trying to democratize access to coaching, Torch is doubling-down on teaching founders, C-suites, and other senior executives how to care…or not care too much.
Torch takes $10M to teach empathy to executives

“I came out of a tough family myself and I had to do a ton of therapy and a ton of meditation to emerge and be an effective leader myself” Yarbrough recalls. “Philosophically, I care about personal growth. It’s just true all the way down to birth for me. What I’m selling is authentic to who I am.”
Torch’s co-founders met when they were in grad school for counseling psychology degrees, practicing group therapy sessions together. Yarbrough went on to practice clinically and start Well Clinic in the Bay Area while Keegan Walden got his PhD. Yarbrough worked with married couples to resolve troubles, and “the next thing i know I was working with high profile startup founders, who like anybody have their fair share of conflicts.”
Torch takes $10M to teach empathy to executives
Torch co-founders (from left): Cameron Yarbrough and Keegan Walden
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