Atheneum was founded in 2010 by former consultants from L.E.K. and Kaiser Associates. It gained strong presence in Germany and central Europe and is today one of the larger global expert networks. In September 2022, Atheneum had around 500 employees and a network of 800 000+ expert advisors, one of the biggest expert databases in the industry. This is up from 350 employees and 450k advisors two years before.
The company has a strength in the life sciences/ healthcare sector, but covers all industries globally. Other healthcare-focused expert networks include FirstThought, Techspert, Guidepoint, Inlightened, and BTHT.
Atheneum timeline and notable events
2010: Started in Berlin, Germany.
2011: Raised ~€1m from business angels, including angel firm Captona.
2012: Raised ~€1.5 from angels and Vogel Communications Group, a German publishing conglomerate.
2015: Atheneum raised €10m at a €50m valuation. The round was led by Vogel Business Media.
2018: The firm raised another €10m from growth capital firm Crosslantic Capital Management.
2019: Announced an updated offering. Research-as-a-Service (RaaS) is the name for the combination of (1) expert calls, (2) custom reports and (3) expert recruitment for longer-term projects. In conjunction with this, the firm appointed a new CTO to drive the adoption of machine learning in the expert recruitment process. The CTO had previously co-founded Chime Advisors, a machine-driven expert network.
2020: Began collaborating with Nikkei, a Japanese research service, to share experts between the two firms.
2022: Atheneum appointed a new CEO, who promptly ran two rounds of layoffs.
Atheneum was featured in our expert network benchmarking from June-July 2018. Inex One identified Atheneum as a regional champion in our review of the expert network market size. Regional champions have a particularly strong foothold in their respective regions, while typically also offering global services.
CSR highlight: Atheneum plants a tree for every expert consultation. This meant the company planted 73 trees per day in 2019. Oddly, they also have a partnership with Lufthansa, giving airmiles to clients who book expert interviews.
Atheneum has offices in 11 locations: Berlin (HQ), London, New York, Santiago De Chile, Lahore, Shanghai, Seoul, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Munich.