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Consultant sourcing online marketplace Expert360 raises $1 million for rapid expansion

1:05PM | Tuesday, 14 January

Australian-based online expert consultant marketplace Expert360 has raised $1 million in funding as it seeks to expand overseas.   Co-founders Emily Yue and Bridget Loudon told StartupSmart the funds came from a variety of start-up investors and business leaders who are mostly based in Australia, but also two in Hong Kong and one in New York.   The capital raising for the business, which has seen triple digit revenue growth since it was officially launched in July 2013, was oversubscribed, with offers from a range of senior business and investment leaders in Australia, Asia and the US.   “The funds will go towards improving the platforms, towards ensuring we’ve got the best and brightest advisors through awareness raising campaigns and then helping on-board these people. We’ll also launch awareness-building campaigns for potential clients too,” Loudon says.   She adds they’re particularly excited about investing in some tools they’re creating to help the expert consultants promote themselves and make the best use of the platform.   The target customers for Expert360 are medium-sized corporations, private equity firms and boutique consulting firms that need extra capacity. Over 3000 consultants are listed on the platform, based all over the world including Australia, the US, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.   Yue and Loudon, who was last year named among StartupSmart’s Future Makers, met while both were working with management consulting firm Bain & Company, where the idea for the online platform was born.   “We saw that businesses of all sizes found it difficult to engage experts and consultants on a flexible basis. They might need a person or two for particular projects and couldn’t access top talent. We also saw a huge and growing pool of top notch execs and consultants who want to go freelance, so came up with an online solution,” Loudon says.   Yue adds the consulting industry is worth over $30 billion.   “The consulting industry is on the cusp of a major disruption and Expert360 is perfectly positioned to ride that wave,” Yue says.   The transition from staff management consultants to start-up founders has been a fun but challenging one for the team.   “Coming from a resource rich environment to a lean start-up, it’s totally different. You have to totally change your mindset and how you make decisions from the tiny ones right through to the big ones,” Loudon says.   “We had to get laser-focused. Anything that’s not on the immediate launch and growth agenda you have to drop. We were bootstrapped from the beginning, and nothing teaches you to be lean like running a business on your credit card for six months!”

How can I find the right franchisees to expand my business?

12:26AM | Thursday, 20 December

This article first appeared on December 21st, 2011.   Franchising a business is something which requires systematic planning and expertise.

Closing date looms for female-focused Springboard program

3:51AM | Monday, 11 March

Female entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors are being encouraged to submit an application to Springboard Enterprises, which aims to help them secure funding from local and US investors.

My “closed door” 100% engagement policy

10:32AM | Monday, 15 October

Firstly, I’m not into policies. Too many rules. Rules change.

Digital innovation makes 3D printed bikini a reality

9:49AM | Monday, 3 September

When it comes to 3D-printed clothing, one company is starting small. Very small.

What kind of salesperson are you?

10:04AM | Monday, 8 October

The ability to sell can make or break a start-up. If a business in its early years can’t sell its products or services, it hasn’t got much chance of success.

New jaw created in 3D printer

2:46AM | Thursday, 23 February

In a world first, scientists have used a 3D printer to create a new lower jaw for an elderly patient.

Striking it rich

2:36PM | Tuesday, 21 February

Despite celebrating a decade at the helm of his $30 million revenue business, Melbourne entrepreneur Michael Schreiber has no intention of slowing down any time soon.

Meet the Startmate class of 2012: Part two

3:48AM | Friday, 15 March

Yesterday, we introduced you to four of the talented start-ups that will be taking part on this year’s Startmate incubator program.

Abbott vows to repeal carbon tax

10:29PM | Wednesday, 12 October

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has renewed his pledge to repeal the carbon tax, which passed through the House of Representatives yesterday, in a move that could compromise SMEs’ long-term plans.

Data storage looks crystal clear

9:32AM | Friday, 2 September

Computer users could soon be saving their work to hard drives made of glass, after scientists developed memory crystals similar to those in the Superman films.

Setting your sights on value

5:48AM | Wednesday, 2 May

If there’s one target every small business should have in their sights, it’s business value. Too often I come across business owners that focus on profits or revenue.

Mars and Venus revisited

7:43AM | Wednesday, 27 July

In my interactions with different women’s networking groups and the regular discussions I have about female participation in business and on boards, it is clear that issues around barriers to entry and representation for women in start-ups and as entrepreneurs still exist.

54 hours inside Startup Weekend

4:13PM | Saturday, 28 April

Events where a group of strangers build a start-up over a weekend are nothing new, tech specialists and geeks have been doing it for decades, but a new wave of high-profile brands are bringing this concept to the mainstream.

Brandscreen

2:37PM | Monday, 7 February

Julian Tol officially launched Brandscreen with Seth Yates in October 2010. The business operates as a ‘stock market’ for digital advertising inventory, allowing publishers to upload space and advertisers, via their agencies, to buy it.

Beauty salon

7:44AM | Monday, 25 July

Visiting a beauty salon or spa may involve plenty of relaxing pampering, but running such a business isn’t quite as easy.

Monitoring crop conditions

12:51AM | Wednesday, 8 December

Farmers have a hard time monitoring the state of their crops when there’s so much land to cover, and it appears forest owners have the same problem.

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