Three months after entering the Dutch market, German online consulting platform Comatch has expanded its wings into the Nordics. From its new base in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, the platform for high-end independent consultants aims at building its consulting database to a size of at least 150 consultants by the end of the year.
Founded in 2014, by two former McKinsey consultants, Comatch is an online platform that connects clients with independent advisors. The platform has seen considerable growth since its inception, surpassing the mark of 700 consultants across its operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands (launched in November 2015).
In line with its international growth ambitions – co-founders Christoph Hardt and Jan Schächtele last year unveiled they had on the back of a seed investment round drafted pan-European plans – the online platform has decided to push into the Scandinavian market. Valued at around €2.5 billion, according to estimates from Source Global Research, combined the Nordic management advisory landscape trails regions such as the UK, the DACH or France, although in terms of maturity the region is assessed to be positioned in the top ranks of the table. It is this business maturity, combined with other favourable market conditions, that incited the platform towards market entry, says Hardt. “The Nordic countries are highly drawn to online innovations on the one hand and are very open towards freelancing work on the other hand. They also have strong national economies, which means there is a need for business consulting as such.”
Similar to its proposition in its other bases, Comatch will focus on building a database of independent consultants that can leverage a background at a top-tier consultancy firm, and subsequently bring those advisors into contact with clients seeking to resolve a business issue. At the other end of the spectrum, clients will be able to benefit from a technology-enabled platform and website that according to Hardt allows them to “seamlessly” perform activities such as submitting RFP requests, reviewing proposals and consultant selection. Behind it all sits a digital algorithm that provides artificial intelligence to the process, down the line effectuating a “quick and quality matching processes”.
To lead the Nordic operations, the digital platform has lured Toby Toudal Nielsen (38), a Dane with experience in the sales, online and digital domains, to join the venture. In his role as Business Development Manager Nordics, he has been tasked with growing Comatch’s reputation and project portfolio in the marketplace, as well serving as the linking pin with the DACH and Benelux operations. The ambition is clear: Toudal Nielsen says the platform has earmarked growing the consultant database to a size of at least 150 as its target for 2016, although he highlights that he sees a healthy margin for upwards potential.
“We see an increased use of consulting in the Nordic markets,” he observes, adding “Comatch enables companies to get associated with highly qualified independent consultants and experts.” Data from analysts reveals that the market across the region finds itself in a buoyant spell, and looking ahead, industry sizes are forecasted to continue their growth track in the years to come. Yet, similar to other advisory landscapes, major forces are reshaping the game, including the rise of freelancing networks, the shift towards further performance based billing, and the adoption of technology-enabling tools.
For digital platforms such as Comatch, or for instance blur and MBA & Company in the UK, the changing trends are fuelling further interest in their services, as client growingly seek manners to optimise their consulting spend, as well as staffing and delivery processes. Toudal Nielsen says he believes the firm is well equipped to capitalise on the opportunity, remarking “clients and consultants will appreciate the platform as a valuable asset to the Nordic consulting market.”
As part of the expansion, Comatch will next month launch Danish and Swedish translations of the website.