Maven Research, a San Francisco-based consulting firm, just announced an alliance with Chinese consulting provider Business Connect China (BCC). The deal gives Maven’s clients access to more than 10,000 industry experts in China.
Unlike traditional consulting firms McKinsey and Bain, Maven sets up short telephone conversations between industry professionals, called members, and clients. Forty percent of business comes from venture capital and private equity clients. Accel Partners, one early client, led the company’s $1 million round of seed funding earlier this year. Shanghai-based BCC is backed by Floodgate. In addition to providing access to Chinese business experts, BCC will offer Maven’s clients real-time translation services as part of the deal.
Maven CEO and co-founder Wyatt Nordstrom said the alliance is the beginning of a push to expand Maven’s international network. The firm wants to increase its presence in Brazil, Russia and India, and Nordstrom said Maven is also considering a deal in new domains like medicine. Maven’s clients make requests for information on a wide range of topics, but expertise in wireless telecommunications, digital media and alternative energy has been in high demand. In China, requests for guidance in the automotive industry, aviation, mining, oil and natural gas are frequent.
Members set a price for services, often between $200 and $500 per hour, and Maven adds a surcharge for providing the connection between the parties. Maven currently has more than 15,000 members in its system, and Nordstrom said the most prolific members can make tens of thousands of dollars per year.
Aside from Accel, other investors in Maven are angels Edward Zander, Patrick McKenna, William Krepick and Jeremie Bacon.