Riipen Reviews

Updated Nov 30, 2021

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3.6
71%
Recommend to a Friend
81%
Approve of CEO
Riipen Co-Founder/CEO Dana Stephenson (no image)
Dana Stephenson
9 Ratings

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Awesome place to work!

    Apr 30, 2021 - Affiliate Channel Manager in Vancouver, BC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Riipen is awesome for its Flexibility , growth, and culture!

    Cons

    Nothing to share here! :)

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  2. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Mission driven, Supportive teammates, Great culture

    Nov 30, 2021 - Team Lead in Toronto, ON
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    It’s refreshing to be part of an organization that encourages you to bring your personality to the role and be ingenious in your processes. No idea is a bad idea. Great culture, where teamwork and a sense of community are fostered and prioritized. Having transitioned to a remote-first organization, replicating the in-person culture isn’t the easiest feat, but for the most part, culture-focused activities are promoted and encouraged. If you are aligned with the mission, Riipen is a great place to be! They want to contribute to your growth as much as any other startup would, and allow you to learn on the fly.

    Cons

    Not so much a con, but as your typical Saas startup, being nimble and agile comes with the territory. If you’re new to this environment, adapting quicker to this reality will serve you.

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  3. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Great place to work

    Sep 20, 2021 - Channel Manager in Vancouver, BC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Fast paced, entrepreneurial environment, learning & development opportunities.

    Cons

    Can't think of anything atm

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    Riipen Response

    Thank you for leaving a review, it's always great to see our Riipeneers share their experiences I couldn't agree more with your pros, it's awesome to see they resonate :D If there is anything you think we can improve, you can always let me know directly - Sarah, VP People & Leadership Operations

  4. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Good Entry Level Starting Point

    Sep 10, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Excellent introduction to Ed-Tech at the entry level - Good people first culture for the most part - Diverse team from across Canada/US - Good product market fit on educators side of the marketplace - Competitive salaries at the entry level, less so in more senior positions

    Cons

    - Some inexperienced leadership - a few excellent department heads with industry expertise to learn from, but certainly in the minority with turnover by key hires to these roles. - Lacking product market fit on the industry side of the platform - Lots of fire drills and changing direction - expected for a startup but excessive at this stage in the company's growth. Extremely counter productive and causes massive spikes in workload. - Lack of growth opportunity. Easy to outgrow your role and hit a ceiling.

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    6 people found this review helpful

    Riipen Response

    Thank you so much for sharing your Riipen experience with this community. It always helps to adopt multiple points of view. You call attention to some very interesting points, and in full transparency, some of the things you have highlighted, we know we haven't nailed as a company, but at the same time, that's what we are working on and growing to achieve. As an organization with learning and education at its core, we have grown some of our leaders and acknowledge that they don't know everything, but are incredibly high value individuals making exceptional contributions, growing and learning as Riipen continues to grow and learn. You mentioned lack of growth opportunities, but as you said, our leaders have come from within Riipen. We would be lying if we said we can promote everyone, no company works like that, but we do want our folks to grow as much as possible and if we can move them up, amazing. If we can't, we want our Riipeneers to be able to leave Riipen with a set of skills they didn't have when they joined so they can go and get their next amazing job experience. This is representative of the growth opportunity you mentioned wasn't available to you. If you are a current Riipeneer - we are committed to supporting you grow and develop a career path, but you have to take the lead on shaping out what that is, we don't know how to help you if you don't tell us your direction. We would love nothing more than have you work with P&C to help you with this, we love this kind of work :) Thanks again for sharing - and wishing you every success moving forward. - Sarah

  5. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    A company trying to solve underemployment while underemploying their own staff.

    Oct 2, 2021 - Anonymous - Former Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Four weeks of vacation Reasonable health benefits Remote-first work environment A solid introduction to Ed-tech and venture-backed startups Diverse team - Riipen has a commendable composition of women and minorities, though less so at the senior level

    Cons

    Riipen started scaling before achieving product-market-fit, and the results have not been good. Compensation is well below the market (at least 30% for most roles and much higher for others). Yet, in a company-wide compensation meeting, it was communicated that salaries were competitive (without showing any supporting data). Senior leadership told the entire team that if they wanted to make money, "you do you" and stressed they would not negotiate. The CEO does not appear to trust his team. He is a part of every meeting with external clients, and every company decision goes through him - disempowering employees and ensuring that all goodwill stays with him. Most department and functional leaders and several employees (Strategy, Marketing, Customer Success, Sales, Operations, People & Culture) have voluntarily left the company in 2021. The company stopped awarding ESOP at some point, despite equity being a reason that people join startups, and the CEO made commitments to several early employees about ESOP that never materialized. A new ESOP program was announced in June 2021, but will not take effect until Jan 2022 and there has been little to no discussion since June. The business model does not work and is kept alive by government grants. Riipen is a "nice to have" product, but it does not make educators' jobs easier or take work off their plate. Instead, it adds nominal value to industry partners. At best, the product is mediocre, which puts undue stress on the customer success team to pick up the slack and handhold platform users. Since its founding, Riipen hasn't tracked how its product impacts graduate employment outcomes. Guess what the mission is? Despite all these cons, Riipen wasn't all bad. The opportunity to work in the social impact space, learn about startups, and work with passionate colleagues is something I'll remember fondly. Unfortunately, when things started spiralling, it got bad quickly and little or no action was taken.

    5 people found this review helpful

    Riipen Response

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Riipen; good or bad, we want to hear what you have to say and empower you to share it with others. Not only that, your review has allowed us an opportunity to shine a light on some of the amazing things we have and champion at Riipen. Some of the "cons" when explained truthfully and with context are actually some of the things we are the most proud of! Poor business performance: Riipen is operating under the same conditions as every other company in the world, the pandemic has been unpredictable and has impacted areas of our business, both good and unexpected. That said, we continue to onboard new educators and schools, work with new partners and we have already exceeded our key metric of student experiences for the year, 3 months ahead of schedule. This leads me to comment on Government Grants, you are not incorrect when you highlight that they are part of our revenue. Working in the field of grants predominantly enables us to deliver Riipen services to groups of folks who may not have access to them in our traditional model. This all supports our mission to eliminate underemployment. It is a hugely important part of our strategy and make a difference. Comp being below market: We are incredibly proud of how we approach compensation at Riipen. We launched an extensive compensation philosophy to our team this summer that ensured that our team members were paid at or above market (for the record, no roles are under market), and importantly making sure everyone could appreciate what our “market” actually is and not just what salary data you can find on google. In communicating comp, transparency was a key factor, we wanted to be able to show compensation info all levels and roles, to help support our folks own their own career development but also to underpin all of our DE&I practices in fair pay. In reference to not “seeing” the supporting data, why would you? We gathered a very large volume of data & salary reports using a 3rd party, and then worked with that data to create the most accurate & specific market analysis that mirrored our unique roles. You got to see the outcome of that rather than raw data. Your statement that we said you could “make more money elsewhere” isn't quite true. We did tell our team that we can’t pay the same as Amazon, no company that isn’t a behemoth can, and the expectation shouldn’t be that we pay Amazon sized salaries. CEO Trust: Our CEO is the face of Riipen, that connectivity to the business is one part of the secret sauce that helps us be successful. It stands to reason he is in external meetings, working on the Riipen business. It is a little ridiculous to imply he is in every external meeting, his (and the other cofounders') passion is why we are all here. Department Leaders Leaving: What a great opportunity for us to talk about the growth that Riipen has experienced. In that growth, we have had departures, we have nothing to hide there. There are many factors that go into folks moving on, and respecting confidentiality, the wider team knows very little or nothing about what is going on behind the scenes. It’s best not to assume you know all the facts. You failed to mention the senior level hires that were made ahead of some of these departures, all of the brand new roles that we have hired for and those who left but remain partners of Riipen. ESOP: One of the newer things that we are really excited about is the expansion of our Employee Stock Option program to all of our employees. We can also offer grants every year, which isn’t common practice with tech startups. The statement that we stopped granting couldn’t be further from the truth. It would be unfair for me to not confirm the great things you pointed out: - We do offer everyone 4 weeks vacation to start - relax and recharge time is incredibly important - Our health benefits are great and just got even better - there is no waiting period, you can have them from day 1 and we have some industry leading benefits supporting things like mental health so you can be the best version of yourself. - We are remote first - of you don’t want to ever work in an office again, we will never ask you to.And we have a stipend to help you get all set up. - We are diverse, DE&I is part of our core values and in fact, our approach to compensation is specifically engineered to support this, keeping Riipen committed to a zero gender pay gap, and ensuring that underrepresented groups have the same access to salary and career development. It is unfortunate you left Riipen feeling the way you do (rating it a 1 star experience). That said, we are nothing but grateful that you were a part of the Riipen journey and that Riipen was a part of yours. As with every single one of our former Riipeneers, we will continue to cheer for you from the sidelines as you go on and achieve wonderful things. - Sarah, VP People & Leadership Operations

  6. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Great mission, poor execution

    Jun 22, 2021 - Anonymous 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Riipen has a mission that the entire team believes in, and the company is full of great people who care deeply about their work. The company is trying to solve graduate underemployment, which is exciting to be a part of. It is a wonderful place for new graduates and interns to gain experience. The founders and senior leadership are accessible and genuinely want to help people succeed. Flexible remote-first culture and 4 weeks of vacation.

    Cons

    Compensation is low for a tech company, and talent retention is a problem. Equity is not available to most of the team. The company reorganizes departments and changes employee titles every quarter. There is a lack of diversity among the leadership and a lack of transparency from the founders and management regarding compensation, decision-making, departures, and company direction. The business model only seems to work with government funding and grants. Customers love the team, not the product.

    Continue reading
    3 people found this review helpful

    Riipen Response

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of working at Riipen and I am so sorry that there were some things about your time with us that didn't feel great. Your comment about compensation is well timed; you must have just left before we re-launched our compensation program (including sharing all of our salary bands, really tackling transparency) at Riipen in late June which also included a new program granting ESOP to every Riipeneer. Thank you for being a part of Riipen's story and we wish you every success as your forge your path forwards. - Sarah

  7. 5.0
    Current Employee

    High growth, high impact

    Apr 24, 2021 - Team Member 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Phenomenal culture. Unlimited opportunities. High growth trajectory.

    Cons

    Very fast-paced environment because of the growth. Forget about your job description. New hires pop in almost every week, so it's getting harder to get to know everyone and what everyone is doing.

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  8. 4.0
    Former Employee

    Employee Review

    Feb 9, 2021 - Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good company culture. Would recommend to friends.

    Cons

    Unorganized teams. Difficult career development.

    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great place to work

    Dec 28, 2020 - Sales Development Representative 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great environment, lots of support

    Cons

    None! I love the company

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  10. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Incredibly exciting job in a mission driven company

    Dec 18, 2020 - Sales Development Representative (SDR) in Toronto, ON
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - great company culture - opportunity to advance in our roles within the company - management works closely with us to achieve targets and career goals - competitive pay and benefits packages

    Cons

    - can feel a little daunting at times, as we are trying to solve something very challenging (but that's part of the excitement!)

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