Founded in 2011, District-based Brainsy is a seed stage startup based out of tech incubator 1776. Led by CEO/CIO Brian Christie, the tech company spent years in stealth mode as it developed its unique, on-demand, white-label communications software.
Though the company does not publicly list its investors, one investor, Christie told DC Inno, is TomorrowVentures, also known as the personal investment vehicle for Alphabet (formerly Google) Chairman Eric Schmidt.
“Experts and freelancers can combine a social media presence with a Brainsy ECN account to get paid”
Today, Brainsy is rolling out an on-demand, phone-based, advice platform that is deployed by trade organizations, professional societies and industry leading figures as an alternative revenue stream. It is industry/sector agnostic but increasingly popular in niche interest areas. These clients can augment the service by connecting their social media accounts directly to it—allow for a touch of direct marketing from their personal accounts.
“Our white-label business model creates a triple win scenario whereby these organizations, their members and Brainsy can all work together to unleash the knowledge in these human networks and make it more accessible to consumers. At the same time, each party is compensated for their participation,” Christie told DC Inno.
“Our white-label business model creates a triple win scenario”
Americord Registry Brand Ambassador Steven Burda, who is known as the “most connected” person on LinkedIn is testing the service, at the moment, directly from his personal account.
The company’s revenue model is based on charging licensing fees or call transaction fees, dependent on the client/company using the platform.
Brainsy is, what Christie called, an Expert Calling Network (ECN), created to help users cultivate business relationships online and get paid for offering their advice and/or insights over the phone. It can be used either on mobile or desktop devices.
Brainsy’s flagship product may be best described as a sort of fusion between Google Helpouts and a booking/scheduling system layered with an income stream. Brainsy is the developer of this platform but it does not control/manage it once it is purchased by a client. Some customer service options are available, however.
Custom made features, like specific time slot selection and scheduling tools for end users, can be built into the application depending on the client’s needs.
Dr. Jimmy Sites, a TV producer and the host of ‘Spiritual Outdoor Adventures with Jimmy Sites,’ holds the title for most expensive Brainsy rate by offering 30-minute calls for $500.
Importantly, the company does not bind users to any ongoing agreement—meaning that if an ECN call is productive, an expert can freely take future dealings off the platform and directly engage with prospective customers/contacts.
But what differentiates Brainsy from asking your favorite entrepreneur a question via a social media site or Reddit AMA? Christie responded by saying that while Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have amassed billions of users—and their revenue models are dependent on perpetuating high levels of engagement—there are also times where people simply want to “break through all the cluttered content and distractions to get direct access to knowledge.”
He added, “that’s where our ECN technology comes in. Experts and freelancers can combine a social media presence with a Brainsy ECN account to get paid for offering direct, one-on-one, access” via phone.
Though Brainsy’s platform and technology has been solidified—moving past the beta phase and well into a pilot program—the startup needs to strengthen its marketing and sales teams. Brainsy’s CEO told DC Inno that his company is looking to hire digital marketing specialists, SEO experts, growth hackers, PPC consultants, content marketers and others that can help spread the word and acquire customers.
The 1776 startup currently employs 6 full-time professionals. Christie declined to comment on Brainsy’s revenue figures.