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Activant Joins Sequoia, Khosla To Invest In Truework’s Identity Verification Platform

Consumers are not always aware of all the information they share externally, and when they don’t have that knowledge, it can be abused, Truework CEO Ryan Sandler told Crunchbase News.

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To return some of that control over personal and professional information, the San Francisco-based company is ready to expand its consent-based identity verification platform and has attracted some big-name investors interested in helping.

Activant Capital led a $30 million Series B funding round, announced Wednesday, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures. The round also included technology leaders Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn); Tom Gonser (Docusign); William Hockey (Plaid); and Daniel Yanisse (Checkr).

Truework has raised a total of $44.9 million since its inception in 2017, Sandler said. Previous investments included a $12 million Series A, led by Sequoia in July 2019, and a Khosla-led $2.9 million seed round in April 2018, according to Crunchbase data.

As part of the investment, Activant Capital’s Founder and Partner Steve Sarracino will join Truework’s board of directors.

“Truework’s platform sits at the center of consumers’ most important transactions and life events, from purchasing a home, to securing a new job,” Sarracino said in a written statement. “Up until now, the identity verification process has been painful, expensive and opaque for all parties involved, something we’ve seen first-hand in the mortgage space. Starting with income and employment, Truework is setting the standard for consent-based verifications and unlocking the next wave of the digital economy.”

Giving back consent

Sandler founded Truework with Ethan Winchell and Victor Kabdebon as a verified identity platform to protect sensitive personal data behind consumer consent. Company human resources departments use the platform so they don’t have to respond directly to inquiries from entities requesting income and employment information for purposes of securing a loan or apartment, for example, Sandler said.

Traditionally, 70 percent of this information-gathering takes place via phone and even fax machine, with employers providing that information without letting their employees know, he added.

“It was eye-opening to see sensitive data, such as income and employment information not locked behind consumer consent,” Sandler told Crunchbase News. “Many times, the people calling or faxing didn’t know the right person at the company who could answer those questions.”

Truework gives back that consent by emailing or texting an employee when someone asks for their personal or professional information, enabling the person to see what is being requested and to confirm the information is accurate.

“The system was broken on both sides, so we wanted to fix it and do it in a way that gets the consent of the consumer every time before information is shared,” Sandler said.

Going after new markets

Three years after launching its platform, Truework has amassed a network of over 40,000 verifiers, including lenders, landlords and background check companies, Sandler said. Demand to join the platform has increased quickly—the number of verifiers increased 60 percent from December 2019–as more companies have gone remote and aren’t there to answer phones or check fax machines, he added.

The company also signed on with Duke University Health System to provide a hotline and support services for its employees, as well as working with tech law firm SixFifty, on its policy around return-to-work.

Truework will be using the Series B funds to continue its growth into new markets, new features and more value-added offerings, Sandler said. Its employer network already includes nearly 100 enterprise companies and more than 20,000 small businesses, the company said in a written statement.

One of those new markets is medical information. In March, the company launched an application programming interface to allow lenders and medical staffing agencies to integrate Truework’s verification service directly into their applications and workflows. In addition, Truework went live last week with a free product for HR teams to track COVID-19-related data throughout its workforce while maintaining employee consent, Sandler said.

“We also plan to go deeper into the health care industry to address medical staffing,” he said. “Employers need to verify new doctors and nurses as they start, including COVID testing results, vaccinations, certifications and other pieces of information.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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