16th February, 2016. Bangalore, India: Unitus Seed Fund, India’s most active seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses, today announced an investment in BetterPlace Safety Solutions, a Bangalore-based digital background verification solution provider aiming to create “A Better Place For A Billion+ Indian Citizens By SAFE Powering Them”.
Founded in 2015 by Uday Singh, currently the Group CEO of SIS Group and Pravin Agarwala, former Global head of Cloud ERP Development at SAP, BetterPlace has created India’s first web service that addresses the ‘trust deficit’ in any form of alliance or interaction between individuals and entities. From verifying the credentials of a potential tenant, to hiring a maid, to fulfilling the workforce hiring requirements of large organizations, BetterPlace aims to provide a trust platform and safety profiles for all citizens and provide safe living solutions for related safety concerns through its web-based service and mobile applications.
Since inception, BetterPlace has been working closely with expert advisors on data based security, legal, privacy, and technology to lay a strong foundation for the firm, focusing on the need to address the challenges of safety and security at the mass scale required by businesses across India.
Commenting on the genesis for BetterPlace, Pravin Agarwala said, “The rising incidents of abuse of children in the city schools traumatized all parents. Being the father of two young girls, and a techie, I started to think of a simple technology based solution that could address such issues by a process of continuous and reliable safety solutions. That’s what led to BetterPlace. The trust factor is built around integrity, character and social parameters.”
BetterPlace technology platform offers multi-point verification across digital and offline channels from a combination of sources including Aadhaar (digital ID) information, digital footprint of an individual, traditional background checks as well as crowd sourcing from social media.
Continuous monitoring is enabled by a trust-based system which learns from feedback provided across touch points and location data analytics.
When hiring somebody, all that needs to be done is a search by name, mobile number or a valid id and the hirer can view a profile that enables a decision to be made about the potential hire.
The platform also allows for users to create profiles which are then verified by BetterPlace.
World Bank estimates that Aadhaar is saving the Indian government about INR 6,700 crore (USD 1 billion) annually by curbing corruption through digital technologies that can promote inclusion, efficiency and innovation.
The “ease of doing business” and saving through establishment of trust (both through proactive and deterrent effects) are going to add multiplier effects. Commenting on the BetterPlace solution, Nandan Nilekani, former UIDAI chairman said, “I have always believed in the power of Aadhaar to leapfrog development and transformation of our country.
“We are excited to be working with BetterPlace to support their growth. The firm’s strong technology platform and the underlying data analytics and application tools will bridge a much-needed gap in the safety quotient of the country,” said Unitus Seed Fund co-founder and Managing Partner, Will Poole.
“We see the potential for BetterPlace to enable more efficient access to jobs for blue-collar workers and better prospects for all,” he added.
Over the past few months since its launch, Betterplace has been able to partner with multiple firms including Housejoy, CommonFloor, RoadRunnr, and Swiggy.
Most recently, the firm announced former Google India executive and the man behind Google’s Map Maker, Lalitesh Katragadda as a Board member, technology mentor and investor.
With the investment from Unitus, BetterPlace will accelerate its technology development, increase operational capability and add geographic presence.