By Sanford Bragg September 1, 2021
Stockholm-based Inex One, a marketplace for expert networks, closed a $3 million venture round led by J12 Ventures, a Swedish venture capital firm. The funding will be used expand the firm’s presence in the US.
Inex One’s $3 million capital raise was led by J12 Ventures and included angel participation by former senior partners at McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Kearney and Oliver Wyman. Ajay Gupta and Brad Brown, McKinsey senior partner emeriti, will join Inex One’s board, along with Richard Thornton, the former deputy CEO at Cint, a survey panel marketplace. Inex One has raised $4 million in total capital to date.
The funding will be used to hire more engineering and product talent, as well as expanding the firm’s sales team in the US. CEO Max Friberg will move to New York to manage the firm’s growth in the US. The firm is currently represented in the US by James Dougherty, who previously headed Chinese expert network Capvision’s international expansion.
Inex One has over 20 expert networks participating on its platform, which consolidates expert sourcing, scheduling and invoicing across multiple expert networks. Usage is pay-as-you-go, meaning there are no upfront fees and clients are billed only as they use experts. Inex One takes a commission from participating expert networks for consultations generated through its platform. Clients include consulting firms, private equity firms, asset managers and corporate strategists.
Inex One currently has fifteen employees and is recruiting for three account managers, based in Stockholm, Singapore and New York.
Inex One was founded in 2018 by Friberg, a Swedish entrepreneur who previously worked for McKinsey and Oliver Wyman, and three others: Filip Gruvstad (CIO) who worked with Friberg at McKinsey; Josefine Vinberg (COO) and Mehdi Rejraji (CTO) who both have technology backgrounds. Friberg had previously co-founded a Swedish expert network, Previro, before starting Inex One.
As expert networks proliferate, there is a natural appeal in aggregating usage across multiple networks. Many expert networks have a specific geographic specialty, such as Lynk in south-east Asia, or sector expertise, such as Techspert’s focus on healthcare. A platform such as Inex One offers a productive way to manage consultations.
Inex One’s main challenger is proSapient, which closed a $10 million Series A round earlier this year. Prosapient launched a multi-vendor platform that competes closely with Inex One. However, proSapient continues to operate as an expert network, and, although it assures competing networks that experts sourced for a client project will be seen only by clients, we suspect rival networks will be wary of participating in proSapient’s platform.
For Inex One the priority is to scale, which means expanding its footprint in the US, the largest expert network marketplace. The new capital raise should help towards that end.
 Inex One also maintains a directory listing over 150 expert networks, accessible here: https://inex.one/expert-network-directory. Earlier this year we collaborated with Inex One in sizing the top 40 expert networks in the $1.5 billion market, a study which can be purchased here.
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