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Practica, a startup initially designed as a marketplace for executive coaching, now believes that an AI can be your mentor. The company has expanded its services by launching an AI system that functions as a personal mentor for professionals, offering support across a range of topics such as management, strategy, marketing, finance, and many more.

  • The Evolution: Initially co-founded in January 2020 by Dave Whittemore (ex-Thinkful Head of Product) and former Dropbox engineering manager Andy Scheff, Practica was designed to tackle career-long skill enhancement through a traditional executive coaching marketplace.
  • The Expansion: With 250 domain-specific human coaches, 90% of Practica’s business was B2B, selling services to employers. However, the founders soon realized the pricing barriers with an average per-hour price of $200. A person who opts for a full year of coaching spends about $3,000 a year, which led to the integration of AI coaching.
  • AI Methodology: Practica uses a technique called Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) to match the best learning resources to the learner’s situation. The AI coach explains the sources and their usefulness, assigns them as “homework,” and encourages further reading. Through a curated search engine approach, the AI does the coaching, organizing insights which the user can interact with, and remember the learner’s history to build on their skills over time.
  • Launch and Pricing: The system, under private testing since July, is now available to individual learners for between $10 to $20 per month per user, making executive coaching more accessible.

Practica has managed to raise $1.5M in outside funding across two rounds in 2021 and 2022, with the vision of expanding the reach of executive coaching.

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