Sociov, an on-demand career-coaching platform, connects students who need help identifying their professional goals with suitable mentors. It also acts as a hub for coaches (who may be looking for higher-level coaches themselves) and training companies.
The startup, short for Social Innovation, aims to capitalize on the Philippines’s untapped market. Similar coaching platforms abroad include San Francisco’s Better Up, Berlin’s CoachHub, and Vancouver’s Noomii.
The 2020 ICF (International Coaching Federation) Global Coaching Study, the largest coaching industry research study in history, reported that in 2019, the estimated revenue from coaching was $2.849 billion — a 21% increase over the 2015 estimate. The numbers of leaders using coaching skills is estimated to have risen by almost half (+46%). In Asia, the estimated number of such leaders more than doubled (+124%).
“Coaching is a saturated market in western countries like Canada, USA, and England, but [the industry] is a very open space in Asia,” said Danille Fritzgerald O. Soria, Sociov’s chief executive officer. “If you were to ask me five years ago, which was the time I received my first coaching session, no one would have ever predicted this kind of growth.”
Sociov automates the client-to-coach matching process and provides information that helps clients decide on the right coach for them, while considering quality, accessibility, and affordability, said Mr. Soria.
Sociov is raising another round of investments this June, with a group of Filipino executives and an Indonesian angel investor indicating their interest. The funds will be used to launch resume and job interview coaching for job seekers and graduating students. The career coaching niche, said Mr. Soria, makes sense because a lot of people lost their jobs in this pandemic.
Its private beta will launch this July. “We are initially targeting graduating students from big universities with 6-15 months left before graduation. We also plan to cater to other private colleges and institutions anytime soon,” he said. “Our partner-coaches love to work with fresh graduates and students coming from business, finance, economics, psychology, or communication courses.”
Last year, Sociov raised capital from several angel investors, an Australia-based professor, and a Filipino management consultant.
There are currently 18 partner coaches earning with Sociov, 94 coaching hours served by these coaches, and 14 clients matched to date through Sociov’s concierge model. There are also 19 learners in its Coaching Academy.
In the web platform, the suggested ceiling price for resume coaching is P500 for a bronze coach, P1,500 for a silver coach, and P4,500 for a gold coach. For job interview coaching, the suggested ceiling price is P800, P1,800, P5,000, and 6,000 for bronze, silver, gold, and platinum coaches, respectively. The startup gets a 20-30% commission for each match. — Patricia B. Mirasol