Consulting matchmaker named Germany's 10th fastest growing digital start-up

11 January 2018 4 min. read

Comatch, a platform which matches clients with management consultants, has been named one of Germany’s ten fastest growing digital companies. The firm has expanded both its revenues and personnel dramatically in the past year, and is weighing up fund-raising for further growth.

German magazine Gründerszene has revealed its latest list of the 50 fastest growing digital startups and scale-ups in the country. With a staggering compounded annual growth rate of 2,200% (for the years 2014 to 2016), Berlin-based HomeToGo leads the way, followed by online food business, Little Lunch, and Exporo, a platform for real estate projects. The top five is completed by ikoo and Deinhandy, e-commerce platforms for the beauty/hair segment and smartphone/mobile sector.

In tenth is a familiar name to the consulting industry, as Comatch, founded in 2014 by former McKinsey & Company consultants Christoph Hardt and Jan Schächtele, recorded a compound annual growth record of 422% in the three year period studied. In 2013, Hardt was faced with a major choice: to become an Associate Partner at McKinsey or to begin his own business. The term as an Associate Partner, which takes around two years to lead to the next career stage, is referred to by Hardt as the "valley of tears", with consultants often reaching an 80 hour a week threshold, so he instead co-founded Comatch, having also seen much opportunity in the digital consulting space.CoMatch Logo

Today, the firm provides freelance consultants with a platform through which to connect with companies. Comatch utilises an algorithm which means that only technically suitable consultants can see an available project online – and among those who are interested, the algorithm and the Comatch team then subject those results to a further, review-based filter, leveraging user-feedback to recommend the most suitable possible options for businesses.

Comatch’s co-founders say that after this process, just two to three tailor-made results should land with the customer. Hardt promises that in just 48 hours, a project should be staffed with a suitable consultant.

The freelance consultants forwarded via the platform come at up to 70% lower rate than those from top-tier consultancies – even though they might still earn about twice as much as the employees of those firms, in a win-win for both consultants and clients. This is because, while the daily rate of €1,200 might be smaller than that of a large consultancy, the independent consultant would still earn a larger amount from the work without a broader company acting as a middleman to cream off profits. Meanwhile, an additional 15% of the daily rate is paid by the customer to Comatch – a model that, judging by the group’s explosive growth, is proving successful.

Future plans

Coupled with this economic growth, the Comatch team has expanded substantially as well. 3,143 consultants are currently registered with Comatch, rising from 2,000 consultants less than 12 months ago. The group now has offices not only in its native Germany, but also Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Dubai and Paris. The latter is the most recent opening and is notably led by former BCG member Bernhard Ney. Some 500 global projects were successfully assigned by Comatch in 2017 alone, thanks to this increasingly world-wide profile.

Hardt and his founding colleague Jan Schächtele are currently considering a third round of financing. In their previous round, which concluded in May 2016, investors including Atlantic Labs, Brains-to-Ventures and the venture capitalist Acton stepped in for a total amount of €4 million.

Related: Comatch: connecting consulting firms with independent consultants.