Truework, a San Francisco-based developer of cloud-hosted identity verification solutions, today announced that it has secured $12 million in a series A round led by Sequoia Capital, bringing its total raised to $15 million. The round saw participation from Stanford University and existing investors, including Khosla Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Founder Collective, and it comes as Truework’s network eclipses 1 million users.

CEO Ryan Sandler said the fresh funding will be used to scale Truework’s product and engineering teams and expand the scope of its identity platform.

“We are working to fundamentally change the data economy, in which credit bureaus continue to squeeze profits by abusing the privacy of consumers,” said Sandler, a former LinkedIn senior product manager who launched Truework in 2017 with cofounders Victor Kabdebon (a fellow LinkedIn veteran) Ethan Winchell (formerly of Ringly). “When third parties receive access to private data, it is often a complete black box for individuals. Truework is bringing these processes front and center, putting more control into the hands of the consumer.”

On the verifier side, Truework automatically and continuously responds to income and identity verification requests from employers, lenders, landlords, and background check companies, drawing on a mix of public and private databases (including HR records on current and past employment). Applicants are notified of the results via email, and any sensitive information they approve is forwarded to a centralized dashboard (and optionally platforms like Namely, Paylocity, and BambooHR) for real-time verification and letter monitoring. Truework only releases data that complies with state and federal laws, and it supports self-servicing with respect to documentation — like proof of employment letters — in many cases obviating the need for manual work.

Truework says its network of over 10,000 verifiers completes thousands of employment and income verifications every day, and the company claims its loan verification turnaround times are “industry-leading.” Current clients include “hundreds” of employers, such as the College Board, Oscar Health, InVision, Tuft & Needle, the Motley Fool, Figure Eight, IndieSales.com, and Segment, as well as over 3,000 financial institutions and lenders like SoFi, LoanDepot, Wells Fargo, and SunTrust.

The global identity and access market is anticipated to be worth $22.68 billion by 2025, and it’s no wonder. Roughly 6.64% of U.S. consumers (1 in 15 people) had their identities stolen in 2017, and last year alone over 2.6 billion records were exposed in more than 1,100 data breaches around the world. The threat of compromise has given rise to a cottage industry of identity verification providers that includes Onfido, which raised $50 million for its AI-powered solution in April, and Socure, which brought in $30 million in February. Other heavy hitters include Auth0 and Examity, which recently nabbed $103 million and $90 million in venture capital, respectively; AOptix; blockchain startup Authenteq; and the beleaguered Jumio.

But Sequoia Capital partner Alfred Lin, for one, believes Truework is well-positioned for growth.

“Identity is vital to the health of the sharing economy and other online services, but it is completely broken today,” wrote Lin, who plans to join Truework’s board of directors. “Truework is building the internet’s new identity layer that will bring security and speed to many different transactions. The success they have had in just over a year shows the incredible demand for innovation and privacy in this very outdated space.”

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