Checkr Doubles Down on SMB

background check

We’ve been hearing for months about the challenges facing local and small business owners in hiring employees to meet the demand many have seen coming out of the depth of Covid times. While that may tapper off as the economy softens with interest rates climbing and some of the pent-up demand – post-Covid – subsides, those hiring challenges remain. Critical to that hiring process is the screening process. We came across Checkr – a Bay Area and Denver-based startup that does just that. What struck us about Checkr is a couple of things. First, the company has raised quite a bit of money. According to our sources, Checkr has raised just over $675M since launching in 2014.

The company has used some of the money to make some acquisitions in the space. Specifically, Checkr spent an estimated $400M to buy out a direct competitor called Inflection Risk Solutions back in April of 2022. That company’s main product was called GoodHire. Here’s what the Checkr CFO said at the time of the acquisition “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating the vast majority of new jobs in North America, we’re excited that this strategic acquisition enables Checkr to tap into this incredible growth and further accelerate our fastest growing customer segment.”

The role Checkr plays in hiring is a key one, particularly for local and small businesses. While the company notes that large enterprises such as Netflix, Warby Parker, and Kimpton Hotels use their platform, small businesses are their key driver. By making the background check simple and straightforward, Checkr can play a key role in that process. The company offers three levels of background checks starting at $29 per check and going up to $79 per check for the most comprehensive analysis. There’s also an enterprise model for companies that hire more than 300 per year.

In keeping with that theme, just last week the company announced the hiring of a Chief Revenue Officer. That role will be filled by Lindsey Scrase. She heads over to Checkr after spending nearly a decade at Google. Her most recent role at Google seems to fit nicely with the direction Checkr is headed. At Google, Scrase was most recently Global Managing Director of Google Cloud for SMB, Mid-Market, and Startups. Her hiring suggests that Checkr is doubling down on making SMB a core driver of their business. And Checkr CEO Daneil Yanisse said this about her hiring “I am excited to see Lindsey apply her deep expertise scaling products to millions of customers here at Checkr. Together, we will increase our market leadership in background checks and continue to build the people infrastructure for the future of work.”

There’s an additional angle to the hiring of Scrase. At Google, she played a leading role in helping the company address diversity, equity and inclusion issues and sat on the company’s Executive Steering Committee of Pride. As she put it her hiring Checkr it wasn’t just about technology saying “My decision to join Checkr was based on more than the company’s disruptive technology and tens of thousands delighted customers. I wholeheartedly believe in Checkr’s mission of building a fairer future and using technology to improve equity and access to work.”

We can imagine a whole host of companies that currently serve the SMB space that would find Checkr to be a great partner – and vis versa. It will be interesting to see how partnerships will develop in the coming months and years in the local and small business space as budgets tighten and customer acquisition challenges mount.

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