Most medium size firms find difficulties when they try to grow up through new business opportunities worldwide. From finding a partner to investing in Asia, to finding a company to collaborate in the development of a new product in France, these firms often must deal with a lack of access to foreign markets either because they do not know the peculiarities of that market, or because they cannot rely on trusted contacts. Consequently, many SMEs are limited and bounded on their circumstances, hampering trade and finding their full potential blocked.
In 2014 Brian Pallas and the management team Garret Smith, Álvaro Marín, Enrica Sighinolfi and Julia Puig, founded Opportunity Network, a digital platform that was called to solve this problem and facilitate business deals. Originally born as a newsletter, In just a couple of years, the platform has become a meeting point for trusted business leaders that can share business opportunities anonymously in a safe way and hence, reach business deals of quality at a much faster pace than before.
The value that the platform provides to the members is noteworthy. The global “business community” that they have built benefit from the flow of business deals valued at least €1 million that are continuously posted. In numbers, the startup has presence in 130 countries and has more than 50 employees that serve 1,500 platform members around the world as of April 2017. The platform has 2,000 live deals with a flow of transactions of over USD 40 billion, and growing.
So, what are the reasons that explain the success of this platform?
After analyzing their story, we found that there are three key success factors:
- The identification of a primary market with a clear need: Opportunity Network observed that medium size firms have a hard time finding the right partners for trading opportunities and focused exclusively on that specific niche;
- An outstanding team with the right capabilities: the talent behind the startup has been a defining factor of its success. It is the mix of young ambition and experience, a complete set of capabilities and the right personal networks. In addition, the firm has consolidated a strong culture that is an example of its capability to design and execute well the platform and the business model.
- And finally, a flawless understanding of the platform concept and how to align the diverse agents: As Brian Pallas, founder of the startup likes to explain, the company is built upon the concept of “symbiosis”, meaning that collaboration among all the parties involved is encouraged and represent win-win relationships that add value to each of them and to the platform as a whole.
The story of this startup is about a convergence of analytical and strategical thinking of a team of entrepreneurs determined to help businesses grow. Focusing on a specific niche with a well-defined problem and knowing how to solve it properly are the first step to build a successful platform that, in this case, has already revolutionized the way business deals are made. As the CEO of Opportunity Network say, they have done it without disruption seeking symbiosis, not because they were in an “under radar” mode, but because they were committed to the positive inclusion of all the agents involved to grow together.
Discover their story by accessing the cases: