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Background Verification Startup BetterPlace Ropes In Ex-Google India Head As Board Member And Investor

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Bengaluru-based startup BetterPlace, a startup working in the field of background verification, has roped in ex-Google India Head and the man behind Google Map Maker, Lalitesh Katragadda to improve its platform and develop future strategies to increase the safety quotient across the country.

With Lalitesh as a member of our Executive Board, we are confident that his invaluable experience and innovative thought process will help us improve our present offerings and guide our future strategies’ to bolster the safety quotient across the country.

said Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO, BetterPlace.

Katragadda was with Google since 2002 and was the man behind developing Google Map Maker which eventually led to Google Maps. He then looked after the Google India operations as when the company launched its operations in the country.

Katragadda left Google India in 2014 and since then, has been working on a National Information Platform to build a database of the next billion people in the country. He is also working as an advisor to the central and Andhra Pradesh governments for redesigning the fibre grids to make high-bandwidth internet available to all at affordable prices

Since BetterPlace also works on the similar foundation of a database to provide security verification of people to companies, the experience of Katragadda would be beneficial to the startup. Katragadda on joining the board of BetterPlaces said,

The plan is to create a database of profiles is a combination of Aadhaar identification numbers, digital footprint of a person as well as traditional background checks.

BetterPlace offers its services to companies and employers who want to do a background check on the people before hiring them through a tech-driven platform. This is done by prior consent from the person on whom verification is being done.

The verification process is carried out on three levels; personal, professional and social. In addition to the basic verification of identity, criminal records and  personal details with the help from Aadhar database, references from past employers and feedbacks from previous associates are also taken into account.

The whole process is carried out in two days in real time and the whole system works on Application process Integration (API) just like Aadhar Cards. This system can be accessed by the employer to run a background check on the person before hiring.

With many safety issues arising in past few months especially with delivery boys and cab drivers, such system is in huge demand according to BetterPlace which claims to have processed over 1lakh profiles since it launched its operations in June this year.

According to Katragadda, their aim is to develop a trust-based system which will learn from past experiences and feedback will help weed out repeat offenders.

More can be gathered by learning about a person’s interaction with work environment. It is possible to build those patterns and apply large scale learning systems to the very problems that we are dealing with,

he said.

BetterPlace also plans to create a digital locker to enable users to save their safety profiles, request verification and generate safety rankings based on the results. These can be provided in the form of safety solutions to corporate audience and also help the users to apply for bank accounts and mobile connections using their digital profiles.

The startup has also tied up with other companies such as CommonFloor, UrbanClap, HouseJoy, Swiggy, RoadRunner, Adda Bazaar. It provides its services for hiring domestic help staff in apartments, delivery boys for delivery purposes etc. It charges Rs 499 per verification on a pay as you go basis and has brought down the time to verify a profile to about 3 days from over 3 weeks, said Aggarwala.


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