Jul 19, 2022 - Economy

Exclusive: Charter raises $3 million seed round

Left to right: Charter co-founders Kevin Delaney, Jay Lauf and Erin Grau. Photo: Emma Howells

Charter, the digital media and insights company focused on the future of work, has raised a $3 million seed round to jump-start a new membership offering for human resources professionals.

What they're saying: “The pandemic solidified CHROs [chief human resources officers] as strategic leaders critical to the success of their businesses," said Erin Grau, co-founder and COO of Charter.

Details: The round was led by Bloomberg Beta, a venture firm backed by Bloomberg LP that funds companies that focus on the future of work.

  • The money will be used to build Charter Pro, a membership-based insights platform for leaders in human resources and operations.
  • The membership will include original content, proprietary research and analysis to help human resources professionals become better corporate leaders.
  • The cost of the offering has not yet been set. The company will initially sell memberships to individuals before rolling out an enterprise subscription.

Catch up quick: Charter was launched in 2021 by digital media veterans Jay Lauf, Kevin Delaney and Erin Grau.

  • Charter's flagship newsletter on future-of-work trends has 67,000 free email subscribers, up from 20,000 at launch.
  • The newsletter is free and supported with ads from companies like Adobe and McKinsey.
  • Charter sends its newsletter via a platform owned by The Information — a subscription business and technology news company — which gives it access to data and cross promotional opportunities.

Between the lines: In addition to the newsletter, the company hosts an annual forum called the Charter Workplace Summit supported by sponsors. It also co-produces EmTech Next, a workplace event, with MIT Technology Review.

  • Last fall, Charter inked a deal with Time Inc. to distribute its content on Time's website. Lauf, Charter's president, said the Time partnership has been a boon to its newsletter growth.

By the numbers: The company currently has nine full-time employees and plans to double the size of the team by the end of the year. Several business and editorial roles are currently open for hire.

What's next: The company plans to launch Charter Pro by the end of the year. It has already hired a few people to manage business operations and engineering for the product.

  • Emily Goligoski, formerly of The Atlantic, was recently hired as Charter's head of research to spearhead Charter Pro's original research offering.
  • "Developing a better world of work is now essential for executive leadership and all owners of the talent agenda — and they've been eager for a trusted source for the best ideas and frameworks to deliver on that," said Lauf.

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