Small business has long been held as a key driver of the global economy, but these businesses often don’t have access to large multinational companies who could use their services.
Hoping to change that paradigm, is Globality, a startup founded by Joel Hyatt, the former founder of the low-cost law firm Hyatt Legal Services, which has just raised $35 million in new financing.
With the money, Globality will look to take its business services marketplace to global Fortune 1000 companies, launching a European office in London, in the hopes that they can tap the expertise and opportunity that working with a smaller business may afford.
This startup could, itself, be a huge boon for other early stage companies that often run into procurement problems because their larger partners may be concerned about the longevity and viability of the businesses their contracting with.
Backing Globality is an international consortium of individual and institutional investors culled from the highest ranks of U.S. business and politics. Former Vice President Al Gore; former IBM chief financial officer, John Joyce; International Chamber of Commerce secretary, John Danilovich, and PricewaterhouseCoopers former global chairman, Dennis Nally; are joining Raine Ventures and THK Equities in the company’s new round of funding.
Launching the company’s new consulting business will be Yuval Atsmon, a former senior partner at McKinsey.
For Hyatt, Globality is an opportunity to build a bridge between large companies and small service providers that have been left out of the benefits of big contracts with global businesses.
“Our latest funding round indicates strong investor confidence in Globality’s mission; to drive the benefits of globalization deeper into the world’s economies — empowering innovative small and mid-size service providers to partner with major multinational corporations,” said Hyatt in a statement.
So far, Globality has tapped roughly 1000 small and mid-sized businesses from more than 70 countries to join its marketplace.
Would-be service providers can sign up to apply to be listed through the Globality website to bid on projects listed on its marketplace.
Ultimately, service providers access to the marketplace is invite-only, and all prospective service providers are vetted by Globality’s staff.
Basically, the company wants to ensure that the service provider is capable of doing the work that they’re bidding on from both a regulatory and professional perspective. Companies applying to bid on contracts have to be financially stable, have fewer than 500 employees and be able to meet standards of reporting and auditing for the world’s most regulated industries.
Once a company is approved, they submit a project brief based on a series of questions designed by Globality. Then the company processes that application using machine learning tools to match a customer with a prospective service provider.
Matches that are selected from the thousands of service providers are then further winnowed down by Globality staff until a pool of three to five final candidates are selected. The process takes two to three days versus the traditional months-long request for proposal process that big companies typically use, according to Globality.
Update: Joel Hyatt was the founder of Hyatt Legal Services. He did not work at McKinsey & Co.