Aussie startup Expert360 has raised an impressive $1 million in investment capital, a number exceeding the founders’ expectations. The funds will be used to continue its full-scale commercial rollout and global expansion, with sights set on the huge and growing $30 billion market opportunity.
Founded in January 2012 by former Bain & Company management consultants Bridget Loudon and Emily Yue, Expert360 allows businesses to access independent experts on a flexible basis without hiring a full-time consulting team.
The online marketplace features a curated selection of more than 3000 experts – from former ASX CEOs through to deep subject matter experts – across 34 countries in Australasia, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
“We saw businesses finding it difficult to get top–notch expertise on a flexible basis for project work; and we saw a boom in executives and experts going freelance who want to spend their time doing work, not finding it,” says Bridget Loudon, Co-Founder of Expert360.
“The constraints on both sides were so apparent to us every day. We saw a simple web-based solution to connect the two parties – and that’s our product today!”
On Expert360, businesses only have to pay for the expertise they need, and are not restricted to local talent. Businesses can book services by the hour and spend anywhere from $300 to $100,000 a year, depending on their requirements.
“This means that robust SMBs on the way up can unlock world-class advice and service expertise whilst remaining nimble and keeping cost down … We believe this will facilitate a great shake-up in the consulting industry,” says Loudon.
“We plan to lead the next wave of freelance labour marketplaces – that of the high-end expert. In the past individuals and businesses in need have been able to find a task-runner or Indian developer online. Now, Expert360 will allow businesses to find high-end expertise on a flexible basis too.”
The $1 million capital raising is the first external investment taken by Expert360, whose revenue has seen triple digit growth since the official launch in July 2013.
A good portion of their revenues is in the US, so international expansion is a natural next step for the founders.
Loudon admits that it’s been a huge challenge for them, especially coming from resource-rich environment, to a lean resource-constrained startup.
“You need to completely change the way you make the tiniest decisions to the biggest ones, each day. We learned and are still learning how we have to be laser-focused in our daily priorities,” says Loudon.
“I should also mentioned we were bootstrapped until we raised this $1 million. Nothing teaches you to be lean like running a global business on your credit card!”
Now with $1 million in their investment pocket, Expert360 is perfectly positioned to ride the wave of disruption.
For more information on Expert360, visit www.expert360.com.