Today I am excited to announce the launch of Truework. For the past nine months, my co-founders Ethan Winchell, Victor Kabdebon, and I have been building a new way to verify sensitive information during loan applications, home purchases, and employment screenings. We are taking on a multi-billion dollar market dominated by Equifax, by offering a secure, modern product that protects the privacy of employee data.
To help us achieve our goals, we’ve raised a $2.9m seed round, led by Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, with participation from Founder Collective, Menlo Ventures, Crunchfund, and many other investors who believe in our vision.
Every year in America, over 100 million transactions, such as loans or job applications, require verification of employment or income. One-third of these transactions require the verifier, like a bank or background check company, to reach out directly to an applicant’s HR department. This back and forth process is comprised of tedious forms, faxes and emails, wasting time for both loan officers and HR coordinators. For job-seekers and prospective home buyers, this exchange of information can significantly slow down the application process. And with laws changing over what type of information can be released to whom, and international privacy regulations like GDPR around the corner, the process can become a compliance headache for HR teams.
So what tools are in place to help HR teams automate this process? Not many. The current leader in this space is a company called The Work Number, which Equifax acquired for $1.4B in 2007. The Work Number outsources employment verifications for HR teams at large enterprise companies. Reports have surfaced in recent years on how Equifax may be handling the privacy of this sensitive employee data. Still, over 75% of Fortune 500 companies send their personal and financial information to Equifax’s servers every payroll cycle.
When Ethan, Victor, and I began to realize the lack of privacy protections provided by existing vendors – and that employees and employers often had little insight into how their data was exchanged between companies – we decided to team up and build a better solution.
We realized that this industry at large needed a new paradigm for how sensitive data is shared. From the beginning, we wanted to make it incredibly simple for HR teams to automate this manual and compliance-heavy process, while putting employees in control of their own data by requiring their explicit approval.
HR teams can get started by adding Truework’s app to their company’s existing HR/payroll system. When a request comes in, Truework first verifies the identity of the third party. Then we send an authorization email to the employee to approve the request. The employee is able to view the exact information that will be released, and can request changes from HR if anything is incorrect or out of date. Once approved, the information is shared with the third party through our secure, online platform.
Truework’s dashboard for HR teams.
In December, we launched a pilot with a handful of early customers, including Trunk Club, The Motley Fool, and Figure Eight (fka Crowdflower). We are thankful to these early partners for helping us fine tune the product. Today we are thrilled to open the Truework platform to HR departments across the country.
Right now we are focused on building and scaling the best employment verification product possible that employers and employees will love and trust. Yet, employment verifications are one of many back office processes that are vital for a healthy financial system but have been mired in legacy approaches with little regard for consumers’ privacy. Over time, we aim to grow the Truework platform to empower consumers to securely and selectively verify other sensitive data, such as identity, credit, and other financial information.
Read more about Truework in The New York Times.
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