Hunt Partners backs yet-to-launch marketplace for consultants Feelance

Executive search firm Hunt Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in Feelance Consulting, a yet-to-launch online marketplace that would connect users with part-time resources for consulting projects.

Feelance will use the money raised to scale up operations and expand geographically, Harshdeep Rapal, co-founder, told Techcircle.in.

Feelance will launch operations next month.

“There is an emerging trend where organisations prefer to engage with senior independent consultants for niche, short-term requirements rather than hiring full-time employees. We will only enroll knowledge workers on our platform,” said Rapal.

As per Internet Trends Report-2015 published by Kleiner Perkins, about 34 per cent of the US workforce is already freelancing. Forbes estimates this number to balloon to 50 per cent by 2020.

The trend is also catching up in India, especially in the startup community. Several startups are taking the flexi-route to attract talent and cut costs. There is also heightened interest among experienced consultants to work on an ad-hoc basis so that they can pursue other interests.

Feelance is currently being tested with a core group of senior consultants and clients. It has already on-boarded about 1,000 consultants and aims to ramp this up to 15,000 over the next six months. It aims to work with 1,000-odd companies.

“The focus is on ensuring that skillsets match completely to the assignment, enabling organisations to get consultants in the shortest time possible,” said Suresh Raina, managing partner at Mumbai-based Hunt Partners.

Founded in 2003, Hunt Partners is a leadership and talent advisory firm with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore and Beijing. Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank had recently hired Hunt Partners' services to build a full-fledged team in India.

Rapal was earlier heading the Southeast Asian operations of Rocket Internet-backed printing solutions startup Printvenue. Before that, he co-founded online marketplace for handicrafts EarthernKraft.

Feelance would be modelled on global sites such as freelancer.com , mbaco.com and hired.com. In December, US-based based hired.com secured $15 million in series B  funding.

In India, Feelance would compete with players such as Flexing It and VendorFrog. In October, Flexing It raised $500,000 in angel funding from HCC Infrastructure head Arjun Dhawan, PropTiger.com CEO Dhruv Agarwala and other investors.

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