‘You can be a global company and be based on Vancouver Island’: With acquisition of U.K.’s Credence, Victoria-based Certn is now a 270-person global operation
The fast-growing startup has employees in every province, the U.S., and now a foothold in Europe.
Why it matters: The acquisition will enable the firm to diversify its offerings and add marquee clients in global markets. Both developments have been a priority of Certn’s as it has grown and raised successive rounds of funding. “We raised money with acquisitions in mind,” Certn CEO Andrew McLeod told Vancouver Tech Journal. He also hinted at future acquisition news within the next month.
The details: Certn has developed what it calls a human risk intelligence solution that modernizes the background check process using AI and machine learning. Clients like employers and landlords use it to streamline candidate screening processes and reduce costs.
Credence has been around since 2009, and the fusion of companies together is meant to increase the speed of background checks, improve candidates’ experiences, serve more geographical markets, and enable Certn to provide more services to its clients in North America.
The deal also means an upgrade to the Certn employee experience, Mcleod explained.
“For people that are already working for us, there's increased opportunities for global mobility and to interact with people from a different place,” Mcleod said of Certn’s 180-person team. “Credence has a great foothold in the UK and in the Middle East. So, you know, real opportunities for our team to be even more global. Today, we work from nine countries and speak 23 languages, and this just adds to that.”
With Credence’s 90-person team included, Certn now has approximately 270 staff members.
Background: Founded in 2016, Certn was launched when its founders saw the opportunity while building their previous startup, RentMoola, which did rent collections and credit checks online. They noticed the current credit ratings systems weren’t fully capturing the profiles of ideal candidates as accurately as they could be. They started Certn to solve that problem.
Not long after its founding, the company won the Top Regional Startup Prize at the 2017 New Ventures BC Competition Awards. Since then, it's been recognized as a KPMG Private Enterprise Tech Innovator in Canada, a Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ Awards Company to Watch and one of The Globe & Mail’s 2021 Top Growing Companies, among other accolades.
Last year, Certn brought on Susan Davis as its first chief technology officer to expedite product development and boost its engineering culture, speed and efficiency.
Funding: The startup raised a $975,000 seed round in 2018 from Atrium Ventures, Panache Ventures, Hello Ventures and iNovia Capital, according to reporting in BetaKit. Two years later, the company revealed that it raised an additional CAD $43 million in seed, Series A and Series A+ funding throughout 2020.
What’s next: As to where Certn is shopping next, McLeod said the company is looking to have a global presence as quickly as possible: “I would say that there's no region that we're not exploring. So there are a lot of pieces left. Where, specifically? I can't comment, but the world will know shortly.”
The big picture: As companies and employees shift to remote hiring and work due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for background screening solutions continues to grow. The global employment screening services market is projected to reach $7.64 billion by 2026, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.
For more M&A news, subscribe to our newsletter: