Background checks are old hat, but Crederity wants to bring an easier, web-oriented approach to verifying that someone is trustworthy. In addition to its business tools, the New York company is also rolling out a way for individuals to create a single verified identity across the web — a “seal of approval” that can be part of your identity on social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.
Crederity, based in New York and Bangalore India, has built a number of web tools that can plug-in to different websites and applications, making it easier and more affordable for companies to perform the equivalent of a background check. For example, if you’re running a job site, or you’re part of a company accepting online job applications, you can ask everyone to upload their credentials, and Crederity will verify that the information is correct, using public data sources and partner services. Beyond job sites, this could be useful in financial services (as a preliminary form of customer screening), on dating sites (so there’s some assurance users aren’t lying about themselves and don’t have criminal records), and more.
For individuals, you can create an account on Crederity itself, and the company will give you seals that you can place on different social networking accounts. Crederity launched Twitter support in August and says it has verified the identity of 167 Twitter users, including actor Jim Carrey (note the little “verified” seal in his profile picture). Of course, Twitter provides its own “verified accounts” service, but it’s focused (for now, at least) on celebrities, while Crederity can be used by anyone. Even if you’re not super-famous, you may still want to make sure people aren’t impersonating you, or ensure that business contacts feel comfortable dealing with you even if you’re communicating through a Twitter account.
Crederity also just added similar support for MySpace accounts and has plans to add Facebook and LinkedIn.
Chief executive Rakesh Antala says the company has certified the identities of thousands of people, and has 75 business customers. He’s raised less than a $1 million in funding, and is looking to raise a venture round.