Featured Startup Pitch: Expertory is an expertise marketplace with utility for learners, instructors and businesses
By Tony Jarboe, Expertory co-founder and CEO
Elevator Pitch: Expertory is the world’s largest online expert marketplace that provides individuals, non-profit organizations and companies the opportunity to list live classes and consultations powered by video call.
Now people from all over the world have the ability to discover and book to their schedule live one-to-one expert sessions, from the comfort of their home or office. What differentiates Expertory from the many online learning opportunities currently available is the range of its offerings, ease of use and live interaction between client and expert, with either party located anywhere in the world.
Just launched, Expertory now offers access to over 2,000 experts in more than 80 countries. Expertory makes learning easier, exciting and more convenient with over 30 categories to choose from including fitness, languages, music, arts and crafts, cooking and tutors in various subjects. In less than 90 seconds clients can book a class to take at the date and time of their preference. Expertory has an internationally mapped calendar, which means the available times of the expert always displays in the local time of the client. No matter where in the world the expert and client are located, they never have to deal with converting time zones.
My family and I are some of Expertory’s best customers. I take regularly scheduled sessions with a guitar instructor in London, Portuguese lessons from an expert in Lisbon, and a cartoon illustration class with a professional cartoonist and university professor from Greece. My wife takes weekly one-to-one fitness classes with a celebrity fitness instructor in New York and a yoga Expert in San Diego. I’m also proud to say that my nephew has greatly improved his math skills by meeting weekly with an Expertory math tutor who is a 2012 honors graduate at Harvard University, and was previously a Harvard math department course assistant.
The one thing that has been consistent is that almost every customer that has booked a live session on Expertory says that it is addictive. Once someone completes a session on Expertory, they are ready to book another one. Many of Expertory’s customers like to call it the ‘eBay of learning’ or the ‘Amazon of intellectual capital.’ One company told us that this was going to not only revolutionize learning, but also business. This company is using the Expertory company pages to consult with their clients to help with their purchasing decisions. We do realize we have something very special with Expertory, and we are excited to be a part of the experience.
In 2011 my wife and I founded Expertory. In 2012 co-founders Adam Saget (strategic alliance manager) and Warrick Hunter (lead developer) joined the Expertory team. The building of the company involved eight different countries, seven time zones, endless days, countless weekends and many caffeine fueled nights. With the help of our strong development team we launched in beta in 2013. We have staff across the world to meet the needs of our international customers. Our headquarters are in Los Angeles, and Brisbane, Australia.
I knew from an early age that I was crazy about technology. After meeting my first love, a Commodore 64 computer, I never looked back. Prior to creating Expertory, I owned a marketing firm and worked with several Fortune 500 companies, including Hewlett Packard, Warner Bros. Studios, Disney Interactive Studios and MTV Games.
Towards the end of 2010 I read an article in the New York Times about a lady that has been teaching piano lessons for over fifty years in little town in upstate New York. As she grew older so did her students with many of them moving out of the community as they entered adulthood. Over the years her business dwindled until she received a call from an ex-student who wanted her to teach her child. The only problem was that her ex-student lived in Arizona. They decided to perform their weekly lessons over Skype. The article went on to tell how by word of mouth the piano instructor was able to grow her business by giving lessons over video chat and that her biggest obstacles were scheduling her classes and getting paid. When I finished reading the article the idea for Expertory hit me. I have had many business ideas in my life time, but I knew that this could be a real game changer and from that day forward I slept, ate and breathed Expertory.
For Expertory, our initial focus was on attracting experts. We built a suite of fully automated tools to enable Experts to control their own schedule and the ability to create multiple listings, each with its own price and duration and a marketplace to sell their offerings. Expertory handles the billing to ensure an easy and safe transaction for both parties. Expertory also offers the experts marketing tools to help them build their business and makes it even more lucrative for them if they refer their own clients.
Ease of use and the ability to take their services from local to global in an instant resulted in rapid adoption by our Experts.
When Expertory first launched our goal was to have 1,000 experts in three months; we reached 1,000 experts in a little over one month and Expertory is on track to have 10,000 experts within the first 12 months of operation. Many of our experts came from word of-mouth referrals. We also personally recruit experts with unique skills so we can offer one-of-a-kind experiences.
Expertory offers a broad range of experts and one-of-a-kind listings, with fitness, languages, music, arts and crafts, mind and body, cooking and tutoring among the most popular. Many of the experts on Expertory provide free intro sessions, where you can try before you buy. The majority of the listings are very economical—from a $12 Spanish class for 60 minutes, to a free 45 minute Portuguese class, to several free and low-cost fitness classes. Although Expertory is open to all experts, they are ranked and rated by the community to assure quality. We are also actively vetting many of the experts ourselves to ensure that we are providing our clients an optimum experience.
We have just launched free company pages for businesses to offer their expertise to the online public. For example, a hardware chain could offer lessons in home repair, how to pick the best paint color, or how to install a door knob. A music store could offer instrument lessons or perform a one-on-one product show and Q&A with a potential client. The company pages will also give consulting firms and non-profit organizations a platform to book online consultations. We provide businesses with the same great marketing tools the individual experts receive, along with even more visibility on how each of their experts are performing via the Expertory dashboard metrics.
The Expertory business model is based on revenue sharing, with the expert and businesses receiving up to 95 percent of each payment.
The Internet has revolutionized learning by making it possible to learn from the comfort of your own home. From YouTube videos, to distant learning programs, to massive online course offerings by major universities, there is much to choose from. There are some sites that offer one-to-one live video classes on a particular topic, but Expertory is the only site to aggregate experts in multiple fields from around the world and to provide companies a platform to provide online classes and consultation sessions booked to a time that is convenient to both the experts and their clients.
Moving forward, we see not only businesses, but also government agencies and non-profit organizations taking advantage of the Expertory platform. For example, churches will have the opportunity to share their ministry beyond their local community. Expertory will provide government agencies with a cost-saving technology that can help with performing outreach programs to rural areas, and provide scheduled online meeting sessions to help with overcrowded buildings and congested meeting spaces. This month, Expertory will launch a white label product for companies to fully integrate the Expertory platform onto their website or blog. This will provide a seamless company branded experience to their customers and full administrative controls to help manage their online class and consultation business.
Expertory is quickly meeting its goal of becoming a global marketplace and sales and service tool to help individual experts, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies to expand their business reach and to save money. While doing this, we hope to help people expand their knowledge and welfare along the way.
Expertory is planning to open a new fundraising round in the next thirty days. We are also currently hiring Developers and Sales Representatives.
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Founders: Tony Jarboe, Adam Saget, Cassie Edwards, Warrick Hunter
Headquarters: Los Angeles and Brisbane, Australia
Year Founded: 2012