Consultant matching platforms in DACH strike alliance

06 November 2015

NEWCOVENTURE, a German online platform for finding management consultants, has struck an alliance with consultingsearcher, a similar service which operates in Switzerland.

The consulting industry has in recent years seen an influx of online databases of consultants and matching platforms. With the rise of online, clients are increasingly turning their sights towards digital channels to support their search and selection processes as part of their wider tender strategy. While the market still finds itself in its infancy – not just in consulting but across the professional services arena – the long term potential is massive. According to a recent study from McKinsey & Company, digital talent matching platforms are set to revolutionise business, holding the potential to add $2.7 trillion to GDP by 2025.

Online databases of consultants and matching platforms rapidly gaining terrain

In Germany two platforms have of late been built from the ground up: Comatch, a service set up in 2014 by two former McKinsey advisors*, and NEWCOVENTURE, launched in May this year by Frank Braun, who previously gained insider experience at among others goetzpartners, EY and J&M Management Consulting. Both platforms have gotten off to a flying start – in its first year of operations Comatch completed 40 consulting projects, executed by more than 450 consultants, while NEWCOVENTURE has grown its database of advisors to 450+ consultants since going live six months ago. And in a move aimed at repeating their success story both have also set their sights on international expansion. Comatch last month unveiled that it has entered the Dutch advisory market (worth an estimated €1 billion), with NEWCOVENTURE now following suit with its move to expand its operations into Switzerland through an alliance with consultingsearcher.

Founded a few years ago by Cardea, a Zürich-based firm established in 1999 that focuses on business development in the consulting industry, consultingsearcher helps local clients with finding the right advisory firm or freelancer. The platform’s database focuses on management consulting services, and reportedly segments consulting firms across more than 800 combined dimensions, such as industry and functional expertise, geographical presence and consulting role.

New coventure

As part of the alliance, the two platform will jointly pursue growth opportunities, serve their markets as a team, and together perform studies of the consulting market. “Through this cooperation, we can combine our expertise in consulting and various digital services and thereby jointly offer our business clients an optimised package that fits all their needs,” comments Eva Manger-Wiemann, Managing Partner at Cardea. The deal will also see the newly-wed partners bolster the quality standards around the selection process of consultants, a pillar which both label as key to client satisfaction and their offering. “Thanks to our collaborative efforts, we set new standards in the consulting process and consistently use the capabilities of the digital age to enhance the transparency of the market,” says Braun.

By joining forces, NEWCOVENTURE and consultingsearcher aim at consolidating their online grip on the German-speaking market – an industry valued at €25.2 billion by the BDU. Looking further ahead, NEWCOVENTURE has set its sights on pan-European growth. Building on a successful venture capital investment completed two months ago, the platform has set the goal to have 1,000 consultants and interim managers by the start of 2016, to be realised through pan-European expansion. “These days, companies and consultants operate internationally. We knew right from the start that rapid expansion to the entire European market had to be part of our plan,” acknowledges Braun. Last month one of the first steps was taken through the launch of an English website and app.

Frank Braun, Eva Manger-Wiemann

Other examples of matching platforms between clients and consultants are blur in the UKExpert360 in Australia, and VirtualCC in the Netherlands.

* Comatch founders are Christoph Hardt and Jan Schächtele.