Global mentorship platform ADPList today announced US$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 minds - starting with the design and product management community.
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.
“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, co-founder of ADPList.
“From the first moment I started mentoring with ADPList, I knew it was more than an act of ‘passing on knowledge’. After clocking 6000+ minutes across ten time zones with 100+ mentees from more than 15 different counties, I can tell you one thing for sure: Every session is a unique exchange of our lives, our stories and our dreams. There is no better feeling when Amazing Design People find each other!” said Michael Tam, Global Design Director at IBM iX.
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, townhall-style talks and other formats.
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.
ADPList mentors work at 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. He was the Design Lead at Gotrade and Co-Founder at Packdat, which was acquired in 2018. He completed his studies at Singapore Polytechnic but decided not to go on to university, and instead pursue his entrepreneurial pursuits. Based in Ghana, James is passionate about community and design education, and taught himself Webflow and other NoCode tools. He has helped numerous students build design careers and worked with startups to validate their MVPs and launch their products. He is one of Webflow’s top creators in the world, with the number one most viewed project on the platform.
The funding 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).
ADPList is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals live, work and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.