In 2008, ScaleVP wanted to learn more about the crowdsourcing business model and investment opportunities it might provide. We wanted to figure out:
- How the model works
- Where is it best applied
- What makes a good crowdsourcing company
- Which are the good investment opportunities, eg, what specific companies?
To answer the last question, we needed to know what companies exist. The model was new. Many companies were bootstrapped, so not findable on other VCs’ websites, so we had to find a good way to surface the companies to evaluate them.
Enter the NAICS code (formerly known as SIC codes). We started looking at all service sector codes. A complete list is here (http://www.naics.com/search.htm) but we discarded many, like Automotive Transmission Repair, as unlikely for venture returns.
We took the list of likely service sectors and started looking for relevant companies in those markets.
In the end, we found about 200 companies across the 35 sectors listed below. We keep adding to the pool of interesting companies; we added another 50+ companies in 2010 and 2011 so far.
Service Sectors ScaleVP Investigated in Crowdsourcing Research
Aggregated Services/Worker Sourcing
Application and Game Testing
Business Contact Directories
General Business Information
Graphic Design & Media Creation
Medical Coding & Transcription
Photography & Art
Tasks/Pooling Individual Contributors
Technical Services & Customer Support
Writing & Editing