Digital talent marketplace Catalant opens an office in London

26 October 2018 4 min. read

Boston-based Catalant – a digital marketplace for independent consultants and high-end expert talent – has landed in the UK. The consulting gig economy platform will now open a location in the financial and technology hub of London.

There are a number of online freelancing platforms in the US which seek to connect independent consultants with clients, including Upwork and Toptal. One of the earliest and fastest growing startups on the scene was HourlyNerd, since rebranded as Catalant. Founded in 2013 by Rob Biederman and former Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Patrick Petitti, the freelancing platform has since grown into a network of 50,000 independent consultants and 1,000 boutique firms who tackle business and technology projects for clients around the world.

The company’s top consulting talent includes 10,000+ experts with Fortune 500 experience, 5,000+ experts from the top 5 business schools, and 5,500+ experts with experience at top consulting firms. Over 90% of Catalant’s professionals have a secondary degree, and an average of 10+ years of work experience.Digital talent marketplace Catalant opens an office in LondonCatalant has seen rapid growth in the past five years, and now works with more than 30% of Fortune 100 companies. The consulting marketplace has also attracted the confidence and capital of a raft of notable investors, including Mark Cuban, Highland Capital Partners, and GE Ventures.

Catalant’s value proposition is that it purports to provide more specialized and specific talent to help clients get the job done at a lower cost than with big management consulting firms. The firm argues that a boutique consultancy or on-demand expert can be a better and more precise talent solution than hiring an expensive and slow-moving big consultancy – a situation Catalant likens to ‘buying a gold-plated tool set when all you need is a flat-head screwdriver.’ According to a survey from the company, two-thirds of executives say they’re overspending on consulting; Catalant aims to provide the right talent at a better price.

London calling

The firm has now announced that it will be expanding with the opening of an office in London. Though the company was already active in the UK, with numerous clients and independent consultants in the country, Catalant will now be placing a boots-on-the ground physical office presence in the UK capital.

The UK is a hot market for independent management consulting, with one-fifth of the country’s annual £10 billion consulting spend already going to independent consultants. According to a survey from Source Global Research, business leaders say flexibility (48%) and price (38%) are two of the biggest reasons that they would choose independent consultants over big traditional firms. A further 23% said that higher quality work is another reason they would choose an independent consultant.

Meanwhile, talent is deciding to go into freelancing in order earn more by cutting out the big firm middle-man, the ability to choose their projects, greater flexibility, and better work-life balance. According to a survey from Odgers Connect – another independent consultant sourcer – 91% of professional services freelancers were satisfied working as an independent, while 53% were highly satisfied.

In the UK, Catalant will be duking it out with rival consultant marketplace platforms like COMATCH, B2E Consulting, Talmix (formerly MBA & Company), and the aforementioned Odgers Connect. All of the above firms are following aggressive growth strategies as they attempt to disrupt the traditional management consulting firm model.

“Catalant is transforming how organizations attack strategic opportunities,” said Rob Biederman, co-CEO and co-founder, Catalant. “Our expansion into the UK and overall growth over the past year further validates that the old way of resourcing key priorities is a thing of the past. As we remain committed to our presence in Boston, we are excited for this opportunity to grow internationally and make our mark in London.”