MBA & Company, which we’ve previously likened to an “Elance for MBAs“, offers a marketplace for businesses to connect to a “vetted” pool of brain box-types — sorry, MBAs — as an alternative to traditional hiring of interims and consultancies.
In April of last year, the UK startup, founded by Daniel Callaghan and Adam Riccoboni, raised £800,000 led by MMC Ventures with co-investment from Piton Capital, and previous investor Cabiedes.
Today the company is announcing it’s topped up its coffers with a further £800,000 investment from MMC Ventures and Piton Capital, in what is effectively a follow-on round for MBA & Company. This brings total funding for the startup to just over £2 million.
Aiming to tap into what it claims is a $30bn market globally in which companies seek short-term “strategic and operational project work”, MBA & Company is a classic online marketplace, offering a more frictionless alternative to the old way of doing business. In this instance by competing with the traditional management consultancy model.
It claims 20,000 consultants on its network, with projects completed in 50 countries and across 40 industries, and £20 million worth of projects posted.
Consultants are screened before being allowed onto the platform and then they are notified when and if they’re a good match to a project that a business has posted. They then have to submit a proposal, followed by being interviewed by the client or by the MBA & Company “client success team”. Clients can also get references from previous projects and see sample work. Then, once a client approves the final work and after payment, they give feedback about the consultants on the platform.
Completed projects have ranged from £100 to £600k, apparently, with the average job costing £18,000. In other words, MBAs still aren’t necessarily cheap. That said, the startup claims to have saved clients £30m compared to using traditional management consultancies. Those clients range from entrepreneurs looking for pre-launch research and support, through to multinational companies and investment houses, such as Rubicon Partners, HgCapital, General Motors, Pizza Hut and Sharp.
MBA & Company says the follow-on funding will be used to scale the business internationally and move to a new on-demand model of “ad hoc project work delivered through instant access to the global pool of independent professionals.” Or, put another way, it wants to further lower the barriers to getting an MBA on-board short term, on a project-by-project basis.