Online consulting startup Expert360 has raised $13 million in Series B funding from AirTree ventures, which will be used to expand overseas and disrupt the global $US600 billion consulting industry.
AirTree co-founder Daniel Petre will also be joining the Expert360 board, bringing with him a wealth of experience in startup investments and technology, including from his former role as managing director for Microsoft in Australia.
“I’ve always been really impressed with [Daniel] as an executive and advisor — he’s been a mentor of mine for a long time … he brings a wealth of experience in the enterprise space,” Expert360 co-founder and chief executive Bridget Loudon tells StartupSmart.
“Daniel, [AirTree partner] James [Cameron] and the broader AirTree Ventures team are the perfect partner for us for the next stage of our growth.”
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This $13 million investment is one of AirTree’s largest, and brings Expert360’s total funds raised to $21 million in the four years since its launch.
The startup has its sights set on disrupting consulting industry heavyweights like McKinsey, Ernst & Young and Bain with its on-demand platform that sees consultants vying for work based on their online ratings and reviews.
With the average size of projects on the platform $85,000, and with some projects valued at up to $700,000, Expert360 differentiates itself as a premium service
The startup now has 15,000 professionals using the platform, and counts the Commonwealth Bank, BHP, Woolworths and Qantas among its user base.
Since raising $4.1 million in Series A funding in 2015, Loudon says Expert360 has added 300 new companies and 10,000 new consultants to its platform and has grown in revenue by over 1000%.
She suggests startups looking to secure funding should “treat investors as important relationships that you should nurture”, rather than viewing them as one-off sources of capital.
“Build relationships with investors you like and that see opportunity in the industry — keep them updated,” she says, noting this Series B raise “happened much quicker” than earlier rounds of funding because of these existing relationships.
Loudon says the “majority” of this funding will go to investing in product features and rolling out solutions to bring additional functionality to the platform. Expert360 will also be hiring more talent and and “looking at new markets” such as South East Asia and the US.