Catalant Scoops Up $41M to Boost Business Consulting Marketplace

It’s officially summer in Boston—the mercury is rising, and the venture capital is flowing.

The latest local startup to cash in is Catalant Technologies, which on Tuesday morning announced it received a $41 million investment. Catalant joins CloudHealth Technologies, which announced a $46 million Series D funding round on Tuesday. And last week, Rubius Therapeutics reeled in $120 million, Cybereason raised $100 million, and Repare Therapeutics nabbed $68 million. (It’s hard to find a common thread between these deals, but maybe they are getting inked at the same time because everyone is going on vacation.)

Catalant, formerly known as HourlyNerd, says the new investment is a mix of equity and debt financing. A spokeswoman declined to disclose how much was equity and how much was debt. The company has raised more than $73 million in outside capital to date, with prior funding all in the form of equity financing, she says in an e-mail message.

Catalant was founded in 2013 by four Harvard MBA students. The startup’s software helps companies connect with and hire business experts, such as people with MBAs and PhDs, to work on projects. For example, Catalant’s global network of over 40,000 expert freelancers and boutique consulting firms can help small businesses create a social media marketing campaign, or help large enterprises understand the business opportunities tied to trends like the emerging “Internet of Things.”

Catalant’s approach seems to be catching on. The company says it has thousands of customers, including a quarter of the companies on the Fortune 100 list. Catalant’s recent sales have it on track to reach $50 million in annual revenue, Forbes reported. The company currently employs around 130 people, with plans to grow to 200 employees by the end of the year, the spokeswoman says.

Catalant’s growth illustrates that businesses are looking for new ways to access talent around the world. It also speaks to the evolving nature of work, as more professionals shift away from traditional 9-to-5 office jobs and toward more flexible and remote freelance work.

“The company of the future will think differently about what it means to be a member of a ‘team’ working on business problems together,” Catalant co-CEO and co-founder Patrick Petitti says in a prepared statement. “Team members won’t just be the people that sit inside a company’s walls or have a company e-mail address. Companies will have access to the entire globe of talent and will find the best person to get the work done, when it needs to be done, regardless of where that person sits.”

Catalant says it will invest the new funds in product development and sales and marketing.

Catalant’s latest equity investment was co-led by Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst Partners, with contributions from Greylock Partners, GE Ventures, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Intuit co-founder Scott Cook, former Bain Capital managing director Mark Nunnelly, the Kraft family, and Bob Doris of Accanto Partners. The expansion of Catalant’s debt facility is through Square 1 Bank.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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