Leading online lodging service Airbnb is buying a California-based background-check startup founded by three Indian-origin entrepreneurs in 2014 as it seeks to protect its users and hosts from undesirable and fraudulent people. A report in Fortune magazine said Airbnb is buying Trooly, a startup that specialises in technology that helps conduct background checks. Trooly was co-founded by Savi Baveja, Anish Das Sarma and Nilesh Dalvi. According to profiles of the founders on the Trooly website, Baveja, who is also the company’s CEO, had previously served as senior partner at the strategy consulting firm Bain & Company, and a member of the Bain Board of Directors. Sarma, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, is a gold medalist from IIT and has worked at Google Research and Yahoo Research. Dalvi, Trooly’s Chief Science Officer, is an IIT alumnus and has worked at Facebook and Yahoo Research.
Trooly said on its website that it uses public and permissible digital footprints to understand and predict the trustworthiness of individuals and businesses. It uses minimal and non-intrusive identity information as input and returns “trust” ratings which incorporate screening for undesirable past behaviours. The Fortune report said an Airbnb spokesperson confirmed the acquisition but did not disclose the price or the number of workers involved.
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“We look forward to welcoming the Trooly team to Airbnb in the coming weeks,” the Airbnb spokesperson said in the Fortune said. “We’ll continue working together to better facilitate trust between strangers on, off and across the platform – supporting Airbnb’s overall strategy to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere”. Trooly, founded in 2014, raised $10 million in funding in 2016, according to venture capital tracking site Crunchbase.
Fortune said Trooly’s technology is supposed to be an alternative to conventional background checks and credit score services that businesses typically use to screen employees before hiring. Airbnb has reportedly been a Trooly customer since 2015.