Guidepoint

Guidepoint is one of the larger expert networks and operates a standard business model. It was founded in 2003 by Albert Sebag, an organic chemist that had “developed a deep Rolodex of the world’s leading physicians” (link).

In June 2020, Guidepoint had 800+ employees working across 14 offices in 9 countries. Its expert database contained 650 000+ unique experts and was second only to GLG’s expert network.

Even though expert phone consultations remain the core service provided by Guidepoint, the firm also offers a wide range of other expertise services:

Guidepoint – timeline and notable events

  • 2003 – Founded in New York City as Clinical Advisors.
  • 2007 – Rebranded as Guidepoint Global.
  • 2009 – Acquired Vista Research, one of the first expert networks, for $10-15m. Employees at Vista had started the competing networks Primary Insight and Ridgetop Research, and later also Mosaic Research.
  • 2011 – Mentioned in relation to an insider trading case, but not accused of any wrongdoing.
  • 2015 – Acquired Innosquared, a German expert network with a strong presence in Europe.
  • 2019 – Launched Insights, a product similar to Forum offered by Third Bridge.
  • 2019 – Inex One identified Guidepoint as a global player in our review of the expert network industry.
  • 2020 - Guidepoint alumni launched the expert network FirstThought.
  • 2021 - Guidepoint announced its database had reached 1 million experts, and established offices in Athens and Shanghai.
  • 2021 - Inex One reaffirmed Guidepoint's status as a global player in the expert network market sizing.

Guidepoint revenue estimate

Guidepoint's revenue is difficult to assess. The company does not publish financials, and has shared few estimates in the media. Based on benchmarks, and available data, we estimate Guidepoint to do north of $200m revenue in 2021.

For the publicly available benchmarks:

  • In October 2020, Guidepoint announced its database contained 770,000+ experts, doing "3,500+ interactions" per week. Let's assume the typical Guidepoint interaction costs ~$1,000, annual revenue would be $140-182m (counted on 40-52 weeks of business per year). However, the term "interactions" could mean many things, making this range shaky. Most interactions are interviews, but Guidepoint also does some longer engagements (more $/engagement), and lots of quick surveys (less $/engagement).
  • In April 2022, Guidepoint said it does "1,000+ daily interactions". Assuming they mean working days during 40-52 weeks per year, they'd do 200-260,000 interviews. At $1k each, Guidepoint would be doing $200-260m. As per above, this estimate is shaky.
  • Estimating revenue/employee is slightly less biased. We estimate that Guidepoint has a lower revenue/head than many large peers, given its low pricing. See full details of this in the expert network market sizing.
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