Kloutly, an expert advice platform has just closed a $25,000 seed round led by 25K Startups.
Think of Clarity.fm with a Quora-esq interface and the vision behind Toptal – this would best describe Kloutly.
In an interview with Small Business Trends, Michael Sherman, the co-founder of Kloutly says that another $75,000 round of funding is in the pipeline to bring their expert advice platform to life for startups, small businesses, established brands and professionals.
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“The aim is to build an exclusive community where users can engage world class experts, not pretenders.” Michael added. “It will be a place where users can create, manage and communicate with their own advisory team or board, selecting their favorite advisors, and tapping into them instantly any time they have a question. This tool helps users operate at their highest level at all times, similar to the way accelerators and incubators like 500 Startups do. Imagine having access to Shark Tank-like experts at your fingertips. That’s our vision.”
Rather than operating like some of the freelancing websites where professionals compete for hands-on project work, Kloutly comes off as more of a knowledge base for sending and receiving valuable information, in contrast with platforms that might post a question such as “Why do men have nipples?”
The concept stretches back nearly twelve years ago when Michael started his first business and was looking for the type of advice from the type of expert that had deep experience in a particular field or had exited multiple businesses – which he says you won’t find at a local SBA or Score office. He says, “There are many ways to accomplish finding and engaging experts, none that are simple or fast enough. Googling experts, reaching out, connecting on Linkedin, the many discussions in between, waiting on responses and keeping track of replies, individually negotiating contracts… it’s exhausting.”
The idea behind Kloutly’s technology is to provide users a chance to ask vetted and relevant business experts personalized questions and quickly receive actionable technical feedback and deep insights that will enable them to avoid potential missteps, solve problems faster and simply make better decisions in all of their business endeavors. This advice could be related to anything from startup advice, to fundraising, to Facebook or Kickstarter.
“I’ve received hundreds, maybe thousands of requests from very talented individuals asking if they can advise for our startups – and believe this is a great opportunity to provide those same individuals with a platform where they can monetize their wisdom and experience,” Michael said. “We’re taking the research, runway, and the substantial costs and contracts associated with finding and hiring talent out of the equation.”
For now, they’re limiting access to a group of vetted subject matter experts to answer questions on topics related to startup strategy and will slowly build out a variety of other fields.
Kloutly is likely going to be beneficial to both would-be entrepreneurs seeking advice and established business moguls who would be interested in offering business advice for a fee. They also say that although they have yet to identify a clear monetization strategy, they are considering features that would allow experts to charge for their advice.
Interested in getting early access? You can apply here.