Coronado-based startup Currnt is an on-demand marketing intelligence startup which uses artificial intelligence technology to source expert panels and advisory boards for Fortune 500 companies.
Founded in 2015 and initially based in Palo Alto, Technologist and Chief Executive Tom O’Malley, transitioned the company to operate 100% remotely in 2018.
A fundamental shift to the DNA of the company, Currnt claims it has built the world’s first knowledge networking platform connecting curated groups of professionals and companies for accelerated innovation, research and marketing.
More Than 1,000 Experts
Today, it works with more than 1,000 contractors in various positions including panel specialists, creatives, content developers, sales professionals, among others. The company recruits expert advisors on-demand for ongoing market advisory panels and focus groups through its tech-enabled platform.
“Markets have made a huge shift and your product and marketing teams need to iterate more frequently,” said O’Malley. “Currnt provides managed online engagement directly with your target market for agile intelligence.”
Currnt’s platform is used by large organizations who need to identify emerging market needs, detect competitive or technology trends, and create voice-of-market thought leadership.
In particular, companies buy access to have the ability to create these panels or groups on their platform, conduct research, to learn from them and leverage their voices into better thought leadership.
For example, a global healthcare company may use Currnt’s platform to bring together 20 dermatologists to better understand over-the-counter whitespace in acne.
Through this experience, the team helps organizations create a direct link to a specific target market, allowing teams to both learn and fine-tune its thought leadership.
Today, the company works with over 75 companies across major industries ranging from technology and healthcare to consumer products and professional services.
Recognizable clients include Pfizer, Anthem Blue Cross, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and has worked with 50 Fortune 500 companies.
Launched New Product
In April, the startup debuted its latest product, SmartGroups, which aims to help marketers quickly gain perspectives on trends affecting their industries.
Set up within minutes, the company’s proprietary AI algorithms source applicants from across the internet for clients to handpick their ideal panelists.
Over the last five years, Currnt has conducted over 400 communities or panels and has over 300 certified facilitators on its platform. O’Malley said experts are attracted to its solution because it allows them to learn authentically from peers, expand upon their knowledge network as well as earn recognition.
Well-positioned to weather the pandemic, O’Malley said, many knowledge workers and professionals have turned to freelancing to stay fresh in their industry while building their reputation and network.
“This is the first major economic downturn that’s impacted them. For the first time, there are a lot of incredibly highly skilled and web savvy people that are hanging up their own shingle and becoming independent consultants,” said O’Malley. “They don’t have the legacy of delivering all of their services face-to-face, they are wide open for virtual solutions. We are excited about this new freelancer, the one that is experienced, but also ready to embrace technology.”
Looking ahead, the company plan is to scale the business. After spending the last two years building a fully virtual company and building the operations and infrastructure, it’s now time to scale.
To date, the company has raised $4 million from angel investors and VCs and employs five full-time staffers. More notably, Currnt has not raised additional funding and is completely dependent on annual revenue.
O’Malley said he chose to relocate his company to San Diego because it is a great place to raise a family and build a company.
“San Diego is the best place that I’ve found on the map in the United States of America because it has everything,” said O’Malley. “I’ve got two daughters, and my number one priority for them was give them a healthy, happy environment to grow up in. Here kids work hard, but they also play hard. And I really enjoy that about the community here and Coronado in particular, it gives them that opportunity to find that balance.