SINGAPORE, 17 August 2021: ADPList, the global mentorship platform launched 2020 with an aim to help laid-off designers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic connect with mentors and find jobs, today announced USD $1.3 million in funding from Surge, a rapid scale-up program by Sequoia Capital India for startups in India and Southeast Asia. ADPList is a platform for people to find, book and meet mentors around the world, providing anyone with access to some of the best mentorship. It started with the design community but was soon expanded to include other communities like product management.
Surgeahead is a fund-raising program by Sequoia Capital which invests between USD $1M to $2M in all participating companies at the start of the program in the form of equity. At the end of the program, Surge organizes an investor week, to raise more capital for selected startups from a curated set of investors.
The funding for ADPList is supported by prominent angel investors Crystal Widjaja (ex-Gojek executive), JJ Chai (CEO of Rainforest), Quek Siu Rui (Co-Founder & CEO, Carousell), Ting Feng Toh (Co-Founder of GetGo), and Zopim Founders (Royston Tay, Wen Xiang Wu, and Yang Bin Kwok).
Felix Lee’s Vision for ADPList
At present, there is no shared platform that makes cross-border mentoring easy, or offers a global network of mentors with different skill sets and at different levels. In the current creator economy, where people are keen to share, support and teach others, ADPList’s instant, one-click access to a global network has made it one of the industry’s most prominent platforms.
What initially began as a means for designers to provide peer support, share career opportunities and offer mentorship to others impacted by the pandemic, has since organically grown to over 20,500 mentees, 2,500 mentors, and over 5,000 booked sessions per month in a very short span of time.
While speaking to DesignWhine, Felix Lee, co-founder of ADPList said that the funds would be used to hire the best talent in the world and to heavily expand on to their mission of democratizing mentorship to other professional domains apart from design.
“We started ADPList during the height of the pandemic, and the success of the platform has since shown us that there is a global network of people ready to connect and provide support for others in their communities. The evolution of ADPList today continues to build on the belief that every mentors’ voice can transform people’s career anxiety to agency, and our platform provides them with an entirely new, accessible and engaging way to do so,” said Felix Lee.
ADPList started in 2020 as a list of names, sprouted by the founders’ desire to help the many designers who found themselves out of a job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One tab in the open-source spreadsheet focused on mentoring, which received the most clicks. This eventually inspired the founder to build this into a platform, and that’s how Amazing Design People List – ADPList – was born.
The ADPList Experience: Virtual Sessions and Beyond
Currently on ADPList, mentors can indicate their availability on a shared calendar for mentees to select and schedule virtual sessions. Video calls are conducted within the platform along with feedback and ratings after each session. Beyond one-on-one mentoring, the platform also offers small group mentoring, town hall-style talks and other formats.
ADPList mentors work at prestigious companies like Spotify, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn, Nike, Netflix, Twitch, Coinbase and many more.
The company was incorporated in 2021 in Singapore by Felix Lee and James Baduor. Felix is a product designer turned tech entrepreneur. Based in Ghana, James is passionate about community and design education, and taught himself Webflow.
DesignWhine wishes ADPList a hearty congratulations on raising capital and thanks them for their massive contribution to the design community.
This article was last updated on December 11, 2023; Originally published on November 4, 2021