The GLG expert network was founded in 1998 and is today the world’s largest expert network. It pioneered the industry and holds a significant market share. However, recent growth has been slower, and it has been losing market share to new entrants.
When GLG started, experts were recruited “offline”, at fairs and events. Their expert network was a good phone directory, but nowhere close to the wealth of information stored in today’s browsable databases. GLG has experimented with many interesting business areas over the years such as Gplus/GLG High table (a Q&A website), GLG Share (for entrepreneurs) and GLG Law (expert witness services). However, the 1h expert phone call has remained their core value proposition, according to former executives.
In 2004, GLG took a $30m investment from Bessemer Venture Partners.
In 2007, Silver Lake invested $200m at a supposde $875m valuation. Former executives claim that the purpose was an imminent stock market listing. However, for various reasons, GLG remained private. Former executives mention that reasons included the global financial crisis, regulatory scrutiny, and GLG’s sustained profitable growth.
For more details on the emergence and history of GLG, read our history of the expert network industry.