Freelance consulting matchmaker Comatch enters US

29 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

European consulting platform Comatch has set its sights on the expansive opportunities of the US gig economy. The country has a large freelance workforce, of which a large portion traffics in advisory work, providing companies like Comatch with plenty of human capital for its expanding matchmaking empire.

Founded in Berlin in 2015 by former McKinsey consultants Christoph Hardt and Jan Schächtele, Comatch is currently one of Europe’s leading consultant matchmaking companies. The fast-growing firm combines innovative technology with a stringent vetting, categorisation, and assignment process, putting skilled freelance consultants in contact with companies in need of independent solutions.

Thanks to its success in this mission, the company’s services have expanded in recent times. Buoyed by growing trust in Comatch, as its network has excelled in more and more roles, it has increasingly moved into full-on service advisory and staffing work with trusted clients. Tjeerd Wijffels, Comatch’s Benelux Director, recently explained to Consultancy.eu that an evolving services offering is helping the independent consulting network enjoy rapid growth, amid a thriving gig economy in Europe.

Over the last four years, the firm has also expanded geographically from its headquarters in Berlin to add offices in Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Dubai, Copenhagen, Zurich, and London. Now, as Comatch looks to kick on from being named one of Germany’s top 10 fastest-growing digital startups in 2018, the company has sought to maintain its momentum by shifting into the world’s largest consulting market: the US.

Freelance consulting matchmaker Comatch enters US

According to Sven Merten, Comatch’s new US boss, opening a New York will see Comatch grow its client base, as well as the pool of US-based independent consultants and industry experts found in its network. In order to deliver this, the company is hiring a team of business development professionals and has built a dedicated US consultant relations team. According to Merten, the move has been on the cards for some time, with the company calculating its cross-Atlantic leap extensively, according to its pattern of systematic expansion across Europe. The firm’s ambitions do not end there, however.

Speaking to Consultancy.uk, Merten added, “Over the longer-term, we aim to replicate the success Comatch has had in Europe in terms of growth and in terms of our ability to help our clients with quick access to high-quality, pre-vetted expertise. However, replicating the path we have taken in Europe would not do justice to the true growth potential... [There are] new delivery models, such as the creation of flash teams, a number of functional and industry verticals, as well as expertise pools… We have merely scratched the surface or have entirely new potential opportunities on our hands, especially in the US market.”

“The US market is at a very interesting inflection point at the time that we are formally entering the race,” Merten continued. “There are a number of direct, as well as indirect competitors and they have done a great job to open clients' minds to the idea of new ways to access expertise, beyond the traditional channels. That said, there is still enormous potential for improvement across the entire market and there are still entire client groups that have not even started to rethink their approach to expertise access – yet, they will have to do exactly that, if they want to stay competitive.”

Competition

While the magnitude of Comatch’s network has undoubtedly been a boon as it has spread across Europe, meanwhile, size alone will not determine success in this market. The US’s huge freelance market, in which many people work in consulting, has understandably attracted a wide array of matchmakers keen to cash in on the lucrative market. As a result, Comatch will need to compete with the likes of Catalant, Upwork, Talmix, and more besides, if it is to put down strong roots Stateside.

Merten is unphased by this however. Over the course of its rapid ascent, Comatch has developed a methodology which its new US leader believes gives it an edge on the competition. He explained that while the New York office might be new, Comatch has a “well-oiled machine running in the background”, ready to accommodate the move.

Merten concluded, “We see that our clients want to access high-quality expertise, minimising their own efforts to vet profiles, in the shortest possible time… The winners in this market do not compromise on any of these three dimensions… Comatch’s more than 7,500 independent consultants and industry experts are pre-vetted for quality. Our dedicated industry and functional teams complement our search algorithm to help us narrow the matches to the top 3-5 candidates. That approach enables us to match clients and projects with expertise within days, rather than weeks. That's what sets us apart from our competition, big or small.”


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