Founder, Sharon Melamed, said, “When I started Matchboard, I wanted to solve a problem I saw occurring in every office, every day: that is, people waste huge amounts of time trying to find “perfect match” suppliers for their business needs. It shouldn’t be that when you look online, you get 300,000 search results returned by a search engine and you have to sift through page after page…when sometimes the worst providers are the best at SEO and appear on page one. Not only is this process time-consuming and frustrating, it also results in people making ill-informed purchasing decisions, which always comes at a price. So I built a smart matching engine which, by asking the user 5-10 filtering questions within a given product/service category, narrows the field significantly. Layered on top of that is a supplier screening process, so we only recommend vendors that are highly rated by their clients. The user then gets connected with between 1 and 5 suppliers to engage with.”

Matchboard is self-funded, but took just months to reach profitability. In the three years to date, $14.2 million in invoices were issued as a result of successful matches between users and suppliers in the Matchboard community. “We’re sitting at 1,250 clients that have used our service to find their “perfect match” suppliers, and that number is growing every day through repeat business and new users,” said Melamed. The company’s client-base is an eclectic mix of SMEs, large enterprise (including more than 50 household names), government and not-for-profits. It’s not just Matchboard’s matching software, developed in Israel, which makes it unique: the company’s business model is also different to other online marketplaces, in that it doesn’t stand in the middle of invoicing and contracting, relying on suppliers to honestly report their wins, so commission can be calculated.”It works,” says Melamed, defying her sceptics, “and the reason it works is because this is the model the market wants. Buyers and suppliers just want us to help them find their perfect matches, and then be left alone to do business with each other.”

While Matchboard has focused on a niche – the supply chain around “sales, service and back office” – Melamed has recognised the potential in leveraging the matching software in other markets, and her second B2B matching site, FindaConsultant, launched last year.