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CrowdSource Raises $12.5 Million in Series A Funding
© Image: Anton Root / Crowdsourcing.org
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CrowdSource Raises $12.5 Million in Series A Funding

Enterprise cloud labor company CrowdSource announced this morning its $12.5 million Series A funding round led by Highland Capital Partners.

CrowdSource is responsible for the Scalable Workforce platform, which enables clients to tap into Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to complete a number of various tasks on-demand. Its niche is content creation and curation, helping customers with copywriting, sentiment analysis, and content moderation, among other services.

CrowdSource claims its workers have completed over 25 million tasks, and 65 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The company promotes loyalty through bonuses, as well as other incentives to attract the most talented workers.

“The goal is not to have the most workers but the best and most loyal workers,” CrowdSource’s Suzanne Obszanski told Crowdsourcing.org. “We have a proprietary worker profiling, testing and career system, which will take CrowdSource to the next level in terms of quality of work and scale. At the end of the day, worker recruitment, worker testing and worker qualification are the lifeblood of crowdsourcing.”

Obszanski said the St.Louis-based company will use the cash infusion to continue growing its operations.

“With these new funds, we will continue building our worker management software, increase our sales team and expand our service offerings into other verticals,” she explained. “CrowdSource has a list of additional features that it plans to add to its suite of services to remain in front of the evolving industry.”

Highland Capital Partners’ general partner Corey Mulloy is joining CrowdSource’s board of directors. The venture capital firm has funded a number of well-known companies in the information and communication technology and digital media sectors, including Lycos, Paper.li, and MapQuest. The firm’s latest investment may mean that VCs are starting to look at crowdsourced labor as a scalable business model.

“Crowdsourcing and scalability are synonymous when executed properly, but the space is complex, includes many moving parts and is very expensive to enter,” Obszanski said. “We have been operating in the [crowdsourcing] space for several years now, slowly building our platform and service offerings to meet the needs of enterprise clients. The key for us was to solve complex business problems and pivot as the industry evolved while keeping costs down. We began offering crowdsourcing as an enterprise solution and hand-picked clients to ensure we didn’t spread ourselves too thin and that we were capable of maintaining the highest levels of service and quality.”

Obszanski identified maintaining a high level of quality amid growing demand as well as expanding the company’s workforce as two short-term challenges CrowdSource needs to overcome. To that end, having an extra $12.5 million in the coffers will certainly not hurt.

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