Certn raises US$50M as Victoria firm aims to expand background check tech

Company plans to hire 160 more workers, ramp up international expansion

Certn's background check platform can scan social media posts of potential employees | DigitalVision-The Good Brigade-Getty Images

One West Coast tech firm is certainly filling up its coffers with investment dollars.

Victoria-based Certn (Canada) Inc. revealed Tuesday the close of a Series B funding round to the tune of US$50 million.

Certn is best known for specializing in technology that helps companies perform background checks on prospective employees.

Its platform dig into court records, motor vehicle records and police background checks. Certn also uses artificial intelligence to scan a candidate’s public social media accounts for high-risk behaviour, which may be flagged by Certn for an employer’s review.

“Most people party, let’s be honest. And that’s what most people are concerned about: ‘Are you going to be looking at my party photos?’” Certn CEO Andrew McLeod told BIV in 2019, prior to a separate funding round that brought in $34 million last year.

Certn only scans social media text, not pictures.

It does not assess social media conduct, according to McLeod. But it can flag racist or sexist behaviour, as an example.  

Following the latest capital injection, the B.C. company says it will be hiring another 160 workers as it looks to ramp up its international expansion plans.

Certn recently hired a new managing director for its U.S. market and earlier this year acquired U.K.-based background check firm Credence.

The funding round was led by B Capital with participation from BMO, Tribe, Inovia Capital, Telstra Ventures, Scribble, Moxxie Ventures, and Gaingels Covalent Ventures. 

—With files from Hayley Woodin