HourlyNerd raises $22M for expertise marketplace

Ronny Kerr · July 5, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4659

Talent marketplace connects small business and enterprises with consultants and business experts

Now that it’s easier than ever for anyone to start a company, all these budding entrepreneurs are inevitably going to need some solid business advice. But not everyone has access to advisors with tons of education and business experience.

Thankfully, we live in the sharing economy era.

HourlyNerd, a marketplace connecting business owners with business experts, today announced it has raised a $22 million Series C funding round led by General Catalyst Partners with participation from Highland Capital Partners, GE Ventures, Mark Cuban, Greylock Partners and Bob Doris of Accanto Partners.

To date, the company has raised more than $33 million.

Essentially, HourlyNerd is a talent marketplace where the talent is specifically focused on business expertise. From beginning to end, the company wants to connect an expert with the customer’s needs:

  • Researching a Market
  • Starting a Business
  • Growing a Business
  • Managing Your Business
  • Raising Capital
  • Selling Your Business

Customers input not only their specific project or need but also their industry so HourlyNerd can find somebody that’s a right fit for that specific project. As on other talent marketplaces like UpWork and Freelancer, the business experts browse open projects and bid on them if they’re interested in doing the work. Clients then review the bids and select the consultant they’d like to hire.

The model for these sites usually comes down to one of two options: either the company takes a percentage of every job completed or the company charges consultants for bids. I reached out to HourlyNerd to see how it works, and received this response over email:

"HourlyNerd is free to join, and there are no fees for businesses to post projects or for experts to submit bids.  Instead, HourlyNerd collects a fee as a portion of the overall completed project costs."

So instead of charging for bids, they simply take a cut of completed project costs.

HourlyNerd says it has built up a pool of over 25,000 business experts to connect with clients. On average, those experts have eight years of experience on average, and HourlyNerd only accepts professionals with MBAs from top 40 global programs.

"This is a tipping point for our business," said Rob Biederman, co-CEO and co-founder, in a prepared statement. "Top professionals are choosing to be independent: controlling where, when and how they do business. When we started in 2013, we believed that talent should be able to find opportunity in a radically different way.”

While it seems obvious that HourlyNerd is focused on the long tail of small and medium-small businesses, the company also boasts an enterprise offering which has served companies as large as American Apparel, Staples, Microsoft, Pfizer, and General Electric.

For these companies, projects look like typical consulting projects, ranging across categories like collateral development, competitive insights, and customer research. For example, one management consultant offers core marketing collateral for a non-profit (including media kit and on-boarding document for new employees) for less than $5,000. Another consultant will conduct a competitive analysis for companies at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000. The cost of some projects went as high as $50,000.

HourlyNerd says it will use its new funding to further develop the product and to advance its cause of a future of work where business talent is more flexible.

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General Catalyst

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There’s a simple premise behind the founding of General Catalyst (GC) in 2000: entrepreneurs are best served by those who've been in their shoes. In fact, all of GC’s managing directors are accomplished entrepreneurs in their own right. We’re familiar with the challenges you face. And we thrive on our ability to use our entrepreneurial experience to assist, guide, and nurture entrepreneurs on their journey.

As a venture capital firm focusing on Early Stage and XIR/Growth investments, we're thrilled to encounter and delight in helping exceptional entrepreneurs and innovative companies bring a new product to market or transform an industry. But it’s more than just writing a big check. We're tireless in our business-building and partnership development assistance.