The on-demand economy is booming, enabling consumers to get all sorts of goods or services taken care of through their mobile phones. But all those new businesses looking to hire up contractors to drive passengers around, deliver them groceries, or clean their homes need to get background checks, and Checkr wants to help them out.
Now with new funding, it will be in even better shape to take care of those on-demand businesses. The company has raised $9 million in funding led by Accel Partners, with Rich Wong joining the company’s board. Other investors include Khosla Ventures, SVAngel, Data Collective, Google Ventures, Bobby Yazdani, Elad Gil, Wesley Chan, Scott Banister, Joshua Schachter, David Spector, Paul Buchheit, Kevin Hale, Qasar Younis, Ilya Sukhar, and Tikhon Bernstam.
Checkr offers a service that simplifies the mostly manual process of requesting background checks and makes it easy to integrate into a company’s existing onboarding workflow. With its platform businesses could vet new workers through an online form or by integrating its API with their hiring systems.
The company offers a series of background checks, including social security number validation, address history, sex offender searches, and checks against terrorist watch lists and national crime databases. It also provides driver background checks for an additional fee.
Via phone, Wong said Accel’s interest in Checkr was due to the company’s ability to provide an API in an industry that has been largely unchanged for several decades. In that way, he likened its business to Braintree, which was an Accel portfolio company before being acquired by PayPal.
The rapid expansion of the on-demand economy has resulted in heavy demand for Checkr’s services. With just a headcount of four, the company has signed up more than 50 enterprise clients, which include companies like Homejoy, iCracked, Instacart and Doordash. Wong pointed out that by deploying a modern API, Checkr was able to scale to a size that would have been unheard of if it had to provide manual customer support.
Checkr’s clients are on pace to request 10,000 checks a month, which is up from about 2,000 in July when we last wrote about Checkr. According to co-founder Daniel Yanisse, that growth has been driven in part by the addition of new clients, as well as the expansion of some major existing customers.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the “on-demand economy” is a little blown out of proportion, and a little overfunded. Yanisse says the financing will help protect it if somehow the larger economy slows and people aren’t as willing to pay someone else to pick up and do their laundry. In the meantime, it’s trying to get embedded into as many of these new businesses as possible.
Then again, Checkr is also seeing interest outside what you’d think of as “sharing economy” startups, according to Wong. “Customers are starting to come out of traditional businesses,” he said.
That could open up a much bigger opportunity for the company: After all, about a third of all U.S. workers are freelancers or temporary workers, and the number of businesses that depend on contractors continues to increase. As those businesses enter new geographies, Checkr can expand with them.