Professional networking-focused Arbolus has raised $6m to grow its AI-driven platform to facilitate better collaboration and knowledge sharing between companies and expert advisors.
Centered around the belief that knowledge is power, Arbolus’ platform connects companies with external experts who can advise and support business decisions; for instance, researching new markets, developing innovative projects, and standing out from their competition.
The company believes the future of work is all about collaboration. In the three years since the startup was founded by Sam Glasswell and Will Leeming, Arbolus has worked with more than 80 customers, including Big Four firms like EY and PwC, as well as big tech company HP.
Arbolus hopes the funding will help it further scale the platform, meaning it can serve more large companies, consultancies, and investment firms.
Glasswell, who serves as Arbolus’ CEO, explained:
“Having the right information gives you a competitive edge, but the typical means of engaging with experts through one-hour calls alone is failing to deliver value. These interviews are usually held by a single department and their findings end up lost in PowerPoint presentations or reports. Therefore, companies are only building up a short-term view.
“We are bringing innovation to the ways companies are working with external experts by using ground-breaking technology to, not just build expertise within organizations, but deliver it in ways that are digestible, searchable and, most importantly, usable for the months and years ahead across different departments.”
To further advance its AI platform, Arbolus has appointed a new chief technology officer Pau Beltran, who has previously worked in machine learning and natural language processing for Disney, OneMind, and others. In addition, the company is working on investing in new products that will expand its ability to facilitate expert consultations for large projects.
The $6m investment round was led by early-stage UK-based venture capital (VC) fund Fuel Ventures, as well as US VC fund Plug and Play.
Fuel Ventures managing partner Mark Pearson said: “Arbolus have done amazing things in its first 24 months and it’s a testament to the entrepreneurial ambition of Sam and Will backed up by their experience of helping to scale a $1bn company in their former lives.
“We want to foster the innovation and disruption Arbolus is bringing to an old-fashioned industry and be the leaders in connecting the dots between the expert used and the information they provide.”
Plug and Play CEO and founder Saeed Amidi added: “When we first met Arbolus, we immediately knew that their solution was a game-changer. Sam and Will have 20 years combined experience in the expert interview industry so they knew clients’ pains and what processes needed to be improved.
“We decided to support Arbolus’ goal to create the most agile platform in freelance collaboration and are amazed by the milestones achieved by Will and Sam so far. We are looking forward to enhancing their effort by creating the right synergies with our global network.”
As a result of this funding, Arbolus is looking to expand into the enterprise market with hopes to achieve $100m in revenue by 2024. It is also seeking to grow its operations in the US; currently, the company has offices in New York, London and Barcelona.