bridget loudon

Expert360 was founded in January 2012 by Bridget Loudon and Emily Yue, former Bain and Company management consultants. The platform allows users to gain access to independent experts without having to hire a full-time consulting team.

At the start of January 2014, the platform featured a selection of more than 3,000 experts – and the calibre was high: you had ASX CEOs right through to subject matter experts in varying industries. These experts and the users of the service were also spread across 34 countries; there was Australia, of course, but there were fast-growing presences in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

To date the high-growth venture has raised $5.1 million in funding from industry heavyweights such as Frontier Ventures and former Macquarie Bank Managing Director, Allan Moss AO.

When starting out, Loudon originally thought that unbundled consulting services would appeal mostly to SMEs as well as investment and consulting clients. However, she and Yue realised quite fast that theory was off the mark, with significant inbound demand from enterprise-level businesses.

This in turn also has naturally attracted a higher level of consultant to the platform. In fact, more than 15 percent of its consultants have served as C-level executives.

The startup recently set up an office in New York to cater to the increasing number of North American users on the platform. Expert360 counts the likes of eBay, Mastercard, and Uber among its 1,500 business users and there are now more than 7,000 experts to choose from across many disciplines.

Back in March, Dmitry Alimov, founder of Frontier Ventures and board member of Expert360, said that the opening of the New York office is “further validation that Expert360 is methodically executing on its strategy to disrupt the US$350 billion global consulting services industry. We don’t see too many businesses hit or exceed projections.”

The company is not the only local startup to find that a growing number of its users are based overseas; for example, Australian creative marketplace design RedBubble announced earlier this year that 93 percent of its sales are offshore, while graphic design marketplace 99Designs, now headquartered in San Francisco, said its top performing markets are the US, Australia, UK, Canada, and Germany.

To date the business users of Expert360 have posted over $30 million worth of projects on the platform, putting to rest any scepticism that may have existed when Loudon and Yue were first preparing to launch the product just a few short years ago.

It is one of the country’s fastest growing startups and its success has allowed the founder to begin putting back into the local startup community herself, recently investing in Tribe, a Social Influencer platform founded by radio and television personality Jules Lund.

Like most high-growth ventures, Expert360 abides by a mantra, something which guides founders in making important decisions around the company. Every move that Expert360 has made is aligned with theirs, which is “simple and global”.

A mantra too perfect to critique.

Featured Image: Bridget Loudon | Source: Supplied

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