Cambridge, UK-based techspert.io has developed the first search engine capable of finding experts across the globe available to answer complex questions for businesses on subjects ranging from rare diseases to the development of sustainable fuels.
The startup has just raised €1.1 million in its second round funding for its expert-finding technology. The round was led by Cambridge-based business angel Simon Thorpe, and also backed by the UK-based VC Angel CoFund, along with angels John Spearman and Adrian Lloyd.
Founded in 2016, techspert.io takes a company’s specific need for expertise and ranks relevant experts across the world quantitatively on their experience, communication, influence, and commercial insight. Clients are offered a shortlist of experts, with clear data on why each was selected, and can arrange contact and payment through the platform.
The team will use the funding to build on its previous success in the healthcare and life sciences sectors to target the broader $5 billion ‘economy of knowledge’ – the global spend on sourcing and speaking to experts across the world.
David Holden-White, Co-Founder and Managing Director of techspert.io, said: “Our vision is for any company with a thorny question to get a better answer, quicker. Before techspert.io, companies seeking specialist knowledge typically had to use experts signed up to networks, leading to a high degree of self-selection. Existing service providers generally use employees to search partial databases manually on behalf of clients, and experts often have to confirm their own suitability for a task.
“Our platform can scour more than 150 million experts in minutes to pinpoint and connect companies to highly-specific expertise. That’s a pool of experts around 30 times larger than they can access through any single expert network. What’s more, the AI enables techspert to learn continuously, adjusting its ranking as it perfects its ability to recognise genuine expertise, and to evolve as experts do.”
Client Daniel Houslay, Senior Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, added: “We needed to dig into and understand the treatment landscape for a set of ultra-rare diseases, in a number of different European countries and the US. The challenge here is these disorders are so rare, that finding experts who have seen sufficient patients to understand standard treatment practices is challenging.
“We set techspert.io the challenge of sourcing us experts in each of these geographies within a week. What was striking was the speed at which they were able to find and rank physicians for us, plus how open they were about the data behind the matches. Most of these experts may not have been on any expert networks, nor are traditional sourcing methods likely to cover such niche fields, so we felt that we were accessing a hitherto untapped resource for the first time, and that’s exciting.”