Leadership Development Platform, Monark, Raises $1.5M Seed Round

September 19, 2023
3 min read

Calgary, Alberta – September 19, 2023 | Monark, as SaaS platform that offers on-demand leadership development for a new generation, announced today it has cloosed a $1.5M seed financing round. The round was led by Storytime Captial, with participation from The51, Archangel, and UCeed.

Founded in 2020 by organizational psychologists Kelsey Hahn, MSc and Amanda Julian, PhD, Monark is disrupting a market plagued by overpriced, outdated solutions that train leaders 15 years too late. Leveraging cutting-edge leadership research, the platform harnesses generative AI and ML-powered personalization to offer interactive leadership training and individual performance optimization for new leaders and first-time managers, who have a disproportionate imact on company performance, (McKinsey, 2023).

Monark supercharges learning, productivity, and effectiveness with proprietary 5-minute micro-lessons developed by top leaders and scientists, combined with real-time assessments and insights, live cohort-based learning, adn a robust digital platform with behavioral nudges and automated feedback. With Monark, critical middle managers are moving and learning faster, accelerating both their development and their teams’ performance.

“Today we use tech to optimize all areas of our lives, yet leadership development has remained stangant,” says Kelsey Hahn, Co-founder and CEO of Monark. “With coaching reserved for C-Suite executives, and existing tools showing poor completion rates and low engagement, we knew there was a better way. We’re helping leaders enhance their performance 3x as fast by giving them exactly what they need, when they need it.”

The funding comes as the Company tripled revenue year-over-year, with all growth driven by referrals and word-of-mouth. The enthusiasm for the Monark platform derives from its clear return on investment for its customers: achieving 96% completion rates and driving lower turnover, helping companies to save $136,000 per person (Adecco & BCG, 2018).

“The Monark platform is a vital tool for companies to turn their managers into leaders and then empower those leaders to skate to where the puck is going.” says Neil Grunberg, Managing Partner at Storytime Capital. “Just as the entire notion of ‘work’ is rapidly changing, Monark recognizes that leadership must change too. This makes it a great fit for Storytime’s commitment to support the transformatino of the future of work.”

This fresh funding will power strategic marketing efforts and product development, including AI/ML integrations and gamification features, as well as expansion into the US market.

“While tech will see the automation of many work tasks, it will never replace the need for effective human leadership; in fact, it will make high-quality leadership even more vital,” says Amanda Julian, Monark’s Co-founder and Chief Science Officer. “Monark’s early success shows it has the power to rescue organizations from ineffective leaders with a tool designed for a new generation of workers.”

About Monark

Monark is an interactive, development and performance optimization platform designed specifically for busy middle managers and new leaders.

About Storytime Capital

Storytime Capital provides pre-seed and seed stage runding to innovative and breakthrough companies around the world that are changing the landscape of the Future of Work.

About The51

The51 is a Financial Feminist platform where investors and entrepreneurs come together to democratize access to capital for women and gender-diverse founders.


ARCHANGEL is a network of funds that catalyze growth in early-stage technology businesses in Canada through unlocking access to capital, mentoring relationships and helping companis scale. Two of Archangel’s funds are participating in Monark’s round – StarForge Fund and Phoenix Fire Fund.

About UCeed

Managed by Innovate Calgary, the University of Calgary’s Innovation company, UCeed is a group of six philanthropically powered pre-seed/seed-stage investment funds with a mandate to help the most promising early-stage companies bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization.

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