Blur Group, the B2B services exchange which originally launched to disrupt the creative agency type model employed by Madison Avenue, has followed through on its promise to expand into other verticals. Today it’s launching blur Technology to enable businesses to source “expert providers” to help with things like building mobile and Web apps, Cloud services and migrations, Web commerce systems, security and — yes — even BIG data projects.
Similar to the company’s existing Creative Services Exchange, the platform is a typical online marketplace play, matching buyers and sellers directly. Buyers — in this case, businesses needing IT expertise — upload a brief, which is screened by blur, with a predetermined price. The site them accepts pitches from its database of experts and blur shortlists the best/most appropriate three. The buyer then makes the final call, with blur Group taking a commission on each brief traded.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that, unlike the creative industry, platforms to enable IT outsourcing (with various models) are in abundance. This is a very crowded space.
Blur says it already has expert tech providers from 17 countries — 47% from the UK and Europe, 7% from the United States and 30% from Asia — boasting “extensive IT services and programming skills” including web and mobile applications development, while it’s keen to highlight the 18% who claim expertise in BIG Data, with a further 20% having “Security and Compliance skills”.
The company is currently working on rolling out two further verticals: accounting and legal.
In April this year, we reported that Blur Group had raised an angel round of $2 million, one the largest ever in Europe, claimed the company. Bypassing the VC route, financing came from a group of about 20 business names and angel investors including Archie Norman, currently chairman of UK broadcaster ITV; Kevin Lomax, the founder and former chairman and CEO of Misys Plc and director at M&S; and Tim Schoonmaker, chairman of Grapeshot Limited and ex-chairman of Emap Advertising and ex-CEO of Odeon Cinemas Ltd.