Rewarder, a San Francisco-based expert network, was founded two years ago by former Intuit/StepUp executive Kendall Fargo and backed by Granite Ventures. It has recently been written up by my colleague Mike Boland. The network now has 750,000 experts, who “have a passion for helping people , but don’t want to do it for free,” says Fargo. “It’s an extension of the ‘sharing economy'” pioneered by AirBnB, Uber and others, he suggests.
While there are plenty of free expert resources, they don’t provide you with the detail you need, and they are not a personal solution, Fargo says. Things you want to own, such as cars and products, receive the most “wanted” queries. And the queries are very sharable via social media and other sources.
Mobile also plays a big role in the network. A lot of it is impulse. More than 200,000 people are using the mobile app. Would I use it to find a cat hotel during a car trip this summer? No. That’s more of a social survey. But you’d use it to learn how to start a cat hotel.
Here’s how it works: Rewarder receives the query, including reward amount; sends out alerts to the expert solution; and sends out a payment to the winning solution. Rewards vary widely but many are in the $10 to $50 range. A reward for finding a lost poodle was posted for $100. Another person posted a $50 reward for building a travel itinerary for Sydney, Australia. More than $14 Million worth of rewards are currently posted.
Fargo notes that 30 percent of queries are settled within six hours. “It is a matching and mashing system,” he says.