Boston-based Catalant Technologies recently announced the closing of a $35 million investment aimed at meeting increased demand as more companies choose high-end freelancers over traditional consulting firms.
Since 2013, Catalant’s Expert Marketplace has helped companies easily find elite independent experts and consulting firms.
In 2020, Catalant’s growth continued as demand for freelancers in strategic areas like supply chain, corporate strategy, digital marketing, data analytics, and program and project management drove record returns in two consecutive quarters to close the year.
Businesses are also turning to the freelance economy over large consulting firms because they are more cost-effective and faster to deliver value.
“With uncertain demand and the impossibility of hiring experts in every role, businesses need to rethink their workforce and overcome the limitations of the full-time employee model,” Raj Ratnakar, Chief Strategy Officer of DuPont said.
“With Catalant, we can quickly find high-value talent for high-impact projects across multiple functions when we need it. The quality of the experts on Catalant’s platform, the speed at which we can find the right person, and the results we’ve achieved have been spectacular — with more flexibility and at a lower cost than with traditional consulting firms. I’ve been a proponent of this model for a decade and Catalant is by far the best marketplace I’ve worked with,” Ratnakar added.
Catalant Data Shows Freelance Talent Growth
Catalant saw demand for freelance talent rise in several key areas, including supply chain (124% increase over 2019), corporate strategy (25% increase), and project management (44% increase).
Business leaders turn to the freelance economy to fill skills gaps quickly, with most Catalant customers finding and accessing qualified freelancers within one day.
“It’s no secret the consulting industry is ripe for disruption,” said Catalant CEO and co-founder Pat Petitti.
“2020 accelerated trends we’ve seen for the past five years, as technology allows companies to connect with the best talent faster and more cost-efficiently than ever. I’m most excited to see organizations lean into the freelance economy for work that would previously have been reserved for slower, more expensive, and less agile alternatives. This helps businesses deliver on their strategic initiatives much faster, and it opens opportunities for the world’s best talent to make more money as freelancers,” Petitti said.
In January 2020, Catalant Technologies also closed $35 million of additional funding from its Series E equity round and expansion of its existing debt facility to scale its product offering and expand into new global markets. The company also raised a $41 million Series D funding round in 2017.
Freelance Economy Shows Stellar Growth in 2020
Recent research from Harvard Business School and BCG found that 90% of business leaders said freelance platforms were critical to their competitive advantage.
“Morningside was eager to invest in Catalant because there is a widening gap between the talent that companies need to compete and what they currently have. This is a big challenge that was only exacerbated by the global events of 2020,” said Mick Sawka, Investment Manager at the Morningside Group.
“Catalant directly solves this issue by allowing companies to flexibly tap into the people they need exactly when they need them, without overpaying for big, inflexible consulting solutions while simultaneously enabling individuals to take more control over their careers.”
Catalant launched in 2013 as HourlyNerd, an online marketplace for independent consultants. The firm subsequently rebranded to Catalant and expanded to offer software and services for work planning, resource management, and insights, and reporting.
Catalant customers include more than 35% of the Fortune 1000 and seven of the top 10 private equity firms by assets under management. In 2020, Catalant announced the launch of the Catalant Platform, a SaaS platform that enables companies to better manage their strategic project portfolios.
Morningside Group joins a list of impressive investors that include Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ZX Ventures, Highland Capital, General Catalyst, Salesforce Ventures, Mark Cuban, 40North Ventures, former Bain Capital Managing Director Mark Nunnelly, SJF Ventures, Bob Doris of Accanto Partners, and Goldfinch Partners, run by the founder of BCG Digital Ventures and the former head of Starbucks Corporate Strategy.