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Canada-based Certn, a company providing enterprise AI-powered background screening solutions, announced today that it has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by B Capital.
Background checks have matured over the years. Organizations that once hired agencies for the most serious background checks (e.g. for passports or federal agencies) and waited weeks for approval are now looking for tools for automated checks.
Founded in 2016, Certn is targeting the same market with its AI-driven solution. It conducts comprehensive, real-time background checks and ongoing risk monitoring for employees, contractors and tenants around the world.
How does it work?
Companies that sign up for Certn are provided with a platform to build and deploy a background check application to the prospective candidate. The candidate is then asked to provide the required information (educational qualifications, image, etc.) through an intuitive interface that can be accessed through any device of their choice.
“They can easily verify their identity via a selfie using our OneID and a government-issued ID photo. All personal data, consents and authorizations are collected from the candidate to avoid errors or delays. The information is then quickly verified using Certn’s AI and machine learning solution,” Andrew McLeod, the company’s CEO and co-founder, told Venturebeat.
The solution combs through risk-relevant data from reputable databases and registers in order to verify the authenticity of the candidate. According to the company’s website, it connects to over 200,000 public data sources and (depending on your location) runs a variety of checks, from basics like educational qualifications and employment history to credit, vehicle, and criminal records.
“This is our identity verification step. This is a crucial step because if someone enters the wrong birthday or location, or even a misspelling, it can be a real headache. We then proactively correct the information to ensure we have accurate information. From there we have built a global compliance engine to ensure only relevant data is sent to the background check applicant, all data is accurate and consent is compliant with local requirements. Our system also learns in real-time the fastest way to get the required results from the source,” explained McLeod.
The organization/person ordering the background check gets a unified dashboard to review the verification status of all candidates and make a fact-based decision on who can best be selected as an employee/tenant.
Overall, Certn claims that its solution can provide background check results in minutes, which can help companies reduce their time to hire by up to 80%. This also reduces hiring costs and improves the experience for both employer and employee.
The solution is currently used by over 2,800 companies, including leading employers, staffing agencies and real estate management companies.
However, it’s not the only player using AI to perform background checks. Checkr, GoodHire, HireRight, Intelligo, Kroll, K2 Integrity, Paycom, and Exiger are some of the leading companies solving this years-old problem in different parts of the world.
“GoodHire is one of Certn’s biggest competitors right now as they were just acquired by Checkr to expand their business,” McLeod said. He emphasized that in this crowded space, Certn excels by providing the fastest and most comprehensive reports, user-friendly user experience, and a variety of reviews to meet the needs of different regions around the world.
With this round, bringing total fundraising to $84 million, Certn will focus on entering new markets and expanding its footprint globally.
“This funding round is primarily growth capital to fuel our expansion into new markets and provide a trusted experience to our customers worldwide. We recently acquired Credence, a UK based screening company. They have a track record of delivering a great experience for customers, and integrating with Certn’s technology has helped them deliver an even better experience at scale. We plan to continue our global expansion and you can expect similar acquisition announcements throughout the year as we seek to share our goal of building trust on a global scale,” said McLeod.
According to Allied Market Research, the global recruitment services market was valued at US$4.95 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$10 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% over that period.
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