Atheneum was founded in 2010 by former consultants from L.E.K. and Kaiser Associates. It gained a strong presence in Germany and central Europe and is today one of the more extensive global expert networks. In September 2022, Atheneum had around 500 employees and a network of 800,000+ expert advisors, growing from 350 employees and 450k advisors two years before.
The company has strength in the life sciences/ healthcare sector but covers all industries globally. Along with expert network services, Atheneum also provides B2B electronic surveys and programming.
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.
2021: Atheneum raised $150m from Guidepost Growth (unrelated to the expert network Guidepoint). Not all capital was used for growing the business, as it was partly secondary to buying out some existing shareholders.
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 2021 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.
Atheneum has been recognized as one of the TOP50 fastest growing companies in Germany and made it to the Financial Times 2020 Europe's fastest growing companies list.