Business Services

Defining the B2B On-Demand and Outsourced Talent Market



By Briehan Burke

We live in a world where you can get anything on-demand – haircuts, house calls from doctors, and yes, even a date for your dog. Aided by the increasing popularity of on-demand apps as well as the rising prevalence of the freelance economy, the sector has continued to grow and iterate.

As consumers, we’re used to the idea of on-demand services. Popular peer-to-peer apps like Lyft, TaskRabbit, Urbansitter or Instacart deliver rides, services, babysitters and food, respectively, – and occasionally a combination of all the above! – typically instantly or same-day.

Comparatively, businesses have been slower to adopt true, quickly-fulfilled on-demand services, instead opting to outsource (typically a slower, less technology-enabled delivery model) in an effort to cut costs for non-core functions like back office, tech, or consulting services.

Increasingly, however, businesses are gravitating towards adopting B2C on-demand habits and choosing to fulfill or complement core competencies via project-based work – a phenomenon we call “Outsourcing the Office.” For example, Datavail, one of Catalyst’s portfolio companies, provides its clients with a network of highly-skilled database administrators (DBAs) to act as an extension of their internal technical teams, providing clients access to supplemental support, coverage and expertise in a mission-critical area.

More businesses are choosing to leverage external tech or labor resources to not only drive cost savings, but also increase efficiency, allow for time to focus on their core competencies and gain exposure to new ideas, talent and expertise. Outsourcing the Office typically requires that the fulfiller has higher education, domain expertise or credentialing/licensure, creating barriers to entry and often driving resource scarcity. Companies such as Upwork, SupportNinja and Radius capitalize on these trends by offering highly-skilled talent for business services in order to help corporations meet demands.

Catalyst believes that Outsourcing the Office presents a compelling market opportunity and welcomes discussion with growth-stage business services outsourcing companies. We are specifically seeking companies that specialize in providing highly-skilled outsourced labor via a tech-enabled platform, generate a minimum of $7 million to $10 million of run-rate revenue and are interested in raising expansion capital. Please send inquiries and business plans to [email protected].

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