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Certn Secures $43M in Funding


Continuing its mission to innovate intelligent background screening solutions, Certn aims to provide a friendlier, faster and more transparent solution to background checks.

VICTORIA, BC | FEBRUARY 1, 2021 – Certn, a Victoria-based tech startup, announces today that it has secured a CAD $9.5 million Series A+ funding round. Adding this round to previous funding, Certn has secured a total of CAD $43 million in seed, Series A and Series A+ funding throughout 2020. Founded in 2016, this rapidly growing tech startup is innovating how organizations acquire candidate intel and individuals complete background checks, with the help of comprehensive and secure AI. 

Focusing on real-time background screening solutions for technology, retail, property management, financial, and gig service industries, Certn’s human risk intelligence solutions focus on accelerating the background check process, without compromising on accuracy and compliance. 

As companies and employees shift to remote hiring and work due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a trusted and intuitive background screening solution continues to grow. In assisting the growth of the global trust economy, Certn’s machine learning technology allows for a seamless screening process that connects individuals to relevant organizations and life-changing opportunities.

“The move to remote work is accelerating global connections and as the leader in human risk intelligence solutions, our services allow organizations and individuals to not only connect but also gain trust in one another,” says Certn CEO and co-founder, Andrew McLeod. “With the help of this funding, we can continue to invest in growing our products beyond North America and facilitate trusted connection on a global scale.” 

In support of Certn’s global expansion, three funding rounds in 2020 allowed Certn to advance product and solutions development. The initial seed round in February 2020 was led by Tribe Capital, and included Preface VenturesMoxxie VenturesWeekend FundScribble Ventures, and Basement Ventures, for a total of CAD $6.1 million. Following closely behind in November 2020, Certn secured CAD $27.8 million through the Series A round, led by Inovia Capital, 01 Advisors and included additional funding from Preface Ventures, Scribble Ventures, Moxxie Ventures, Basement Fund, Weekend Fund, Owl Capital, and Panache Ventures. The Series A+ round in December 2020 secured an additional CAD $9.5 million and was led by Telstra Ventures and B Capital Group, with funding also provided by Cyber Mentor Fund. 

Through this funding, Certn has had the opportunity to employ additional key individuals to expand product strategy and customer success, including Chief Revenue Officer, Rory Capern. Formerly an executive with Google and Twitter Canada, Rory’s background in the mass digital space provides a unique perspective to Certn’s sales, marketing, partnership, and customer success objectives.

Additional recent hires include:

  • Jeanne Legare, Vice President of Canada Sales — former General Manager and Director of Canada Sales for Sterling
  • Jeff Skinner, Vice President of US Sales — former Sales Executive (RVP and SVP) with Sterling and Accurate US
  • Katie Kulp, Vice President of US Compliance — former Operations & Compliance executive at Chane Solutions and PBSA Board Member
  • Yvonne Chow, Director of Marketing — former Senior Product Marketing Lead at LinkedIn APAC and Hootsuite
  • Rob T. Case, Head of Growth — award-winning SEM/SEO expert and growth strategist
  • Lisa Zombor, Director of People and Culture — former Senior Talent Leader at Shopify
  • Bing Lin, Director of Product — former Senior Product Management Lead for Hootsuite and Autodesk

“Certn is incredibly grateful for the support and funding provided by our capital partners,” shares McLeod. “There are simply no other background check programs today that create a simple and positive experience for both organizations and candidates. As Certn continues to expand in geographic reach and hire innovative personnel, faster cross-border background screening will allow the gig and contract economy to flourish on a faster time frame.”

About Certn 

Certn is the leader in human risk intelligence solutions, focusing on providing real-time comprehensive background checks and ongoing risk monitoring for employees, contractors and tenants around the world. Used by leading employers, staffing firms, property management companies and the gig economy, Certn returns domestic and international criminal background checks, credit reports, reference checks, education verification, employment verification, motor vehicle records, identity verification and more in minutes. Through innovative, friendly, and compliant technology, Certn is advancing trusted connections around the world. 

For media inquiries, contact: 
Aleesha McMullin 

Certn Launches Industry’s Foremost Background Check Service in the U.S.

Firm Appoints HR Superstar Steve Cadigan to Board to Bolster Growth and Build Opportunity

Menlo Park, CA, April 9, 2019 — In the world of “people screening,” speed and accuracy are the industry’s key pain points. Most background checks are processed manually, leading to hours of waiting and results that span only a fraction of the available public record. Today, Victoria-based Certn launched its groundbreaking platform in the U.S. market. Certn harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver globe-spanning, accurate results and give employers faster, more comprehensive results than ever possible before. To help bolster this launch and expand Certn’s influence and options going forward, the firm is also announcing the addition of Silicon Valley human resources magnate Steve Cadigan to its board.

More of Everything Employers Need

Like so many industries in the early 21st century, background checking was beyond ready for disruption when Certn opened its doors in 2016. The field was filled with competitors still mired in performing manual source checks by telephone and fax. Moreover, many of the front-end screening applications supplied to clients looked as if their interfaces hadn’t been updated since the days of Windows 95 (or, in some cases, DOS). User experiences were slow and unintuitive.

Worse yet, according to Certn co-founder Andrew McLeod, traditional background checks can quickly turn into a “digital strip search.” Potential employees may feel scared, and employers, in turn, feel invasive and overbearing. Certn was designed to eliminate this poor experience.

“Our solution provides an elegant candidate experience that feels just like entering and uploading a resumé,” says McLeod. “It’s easy to understand, very transparent, and people can ask questions through live chat as they go along. Yes, there’s a ton of public information out there, but we’ve developed a lot of search intelligence that’s able to deliver a thorough reading without being creepy and intrusive.”

A “ton” may be understating things. Certn scans over 200,000 sources across 240 countries and 77 languages, all of which gets translated into English. Most sources, such as credit reports, photo identity verification, and their U.S. National Criminal Record Check, return in under five seconds. Some databases, such as the Canadian Police Check, can take up to four hours, but even with this, the average return time is only 15 minutes. Other analyzed data sources can include:

• Courts, boards and tribunals
• Motor Vehicle Records
• Adverse media coverage from over 110,000 databases 
• Most-wanted and police lists
• Corporate blacklists
• SEC investigations          
• Professional past experience
• Social media high-risk behavior         

“We only look at text on public social media, not photos,” said McLeod. “We only look for high-risk content: cyberbullying, sexism, things that are generally accepted as inappropriate. If you’re drinking in a photo, that’s none of our business. But if you’re threatening a minority group, you’re likely to get flagged.”

Along the way, Certn can use AI-based tools, including facial recognition, to help eliminate false positives and ensure that presented photo ID is real. With the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, all checks are reviewed by trained police officers. At every possible turn, Certn takes steps to confirm data accuracy and provide a smooth, seamless experience for applicant and employer alike

Certn screen.png

Sample Certn Report: Generate easy-to-read, comprehensive reports containing real-time data from 200,000+ sources. Smart technology delivers significant time- and cost-savings. 

Note: Report information availability is subject to change based on state. Courts, boards and tribunals

The Cadigan Factor

Steve Cadigan rose to fame in Silicon Valley after serving as vice president of talent at LinkedIn from 2009 to 2012, when he helped to establish the human resources talent strategies to guide the company from 400 employees through its IPO and high-growth phase to over 4,000 employees. This LinkedIn episode proved so successful that it was written up as a case study now served to Stanford business students.

Today, Cadigan stands as one of North America’s most respected HR authorities. His list of interviews and appearances read’s like a who’s who of business media. He advises and speaks to companies around the world that need guidance on how to improve their businesses through compelling talent strategies. According to Andrew McLeod, literally no one in the world could have been a better fit to join Certn’s board at this key time.

“Certn has a massive opportunity in the States,” says Cadigan. “I am extremely impressed by the team, the technology, and the solutions that Certn brings to the HR universe. In today’s fast-paced, data-intensive reality, HR leaders need to arm themselves with tools that help them find critical insights in a noisy reality. The imperative to deeply screen candidates at lightning speed while also delivering an elegant candidate experience differentiates Certn from the competition. I am excited for what is in front of us. Joining the Board was a very easy decision for me.” 

Cadigan notes that Certn has the ability to help firms ranging from small shops to multi-billion-dollar corporations. Once they see the differences in speed and accuracy Certn delivers over its competition, he feels, the choice will be obvious.

About Certn

Certn is a platform that uses data points from thousands of sources to create the most comprehensive and predictive background screening reports available. Certn delivers certainty and peace of mind through compliant, comprehensive, insight-packed, and easy-to-read reports. Instead of hiring and hoping, our clients can easily identify the best talent for their business’.

Certn is one of Canada’s Companies-to-Watch in 2020 Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50™ Awards

VICTORIA, British Columbia, November 18 2020: Certn, a leading people data platform that helps businesses perform fast, comprehensive background checks and ongoing risk monitoring, is named one of Canada’s Companies-to-Watch in the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ Awards. The award spotlights emerging companies that exhibit strong growth and show potential to be a future candidate of the Technology Fast 50 award. 

“We’re so thankful to be given this incredible honour and to be recognized alongside so many amazing companies” says Andrew McLeod, C30 at Certn. ”Thank you so much to all of the people that have made our growth and this award a reality!”

Companies-to-Watch winners are new companies headquartered in Canada, demonstrating superior technology, effective management experience, and common traits of Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ nominees and award winners. To be eligible, candidates must also devote a significant portion of their operating revenues to creating proprietary technology or intellectual property.

“We’re extremely proud to recognize this year’s Companies-to-Watch winners, not only to celebrate their early stage growth in these uncertain times, but also their staggering potential moving forward,” said Erica Pretorius, partner and national leader for the Technology Fast 50™ program at Deloitte Canada. “These outstanding companies demonstrate tremendous courage, the ability to take calculated risks, and notable skills to exploit opportunities. They are the key to the future success of the technology sector.

Certn was co-founded by Andrew McLeod, Evan Dalton, Owen Madrick, Daniel Faulkner, Will Nettke and Curtis Smith in late 2016. Fast forward to 2020, Certn is now the new standard in human risk intelligence. 

For more information, follow: 

LinkedIn | Certn 

Twitter | @certn_

Facebook | Certn


About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program is Canada’s pre-eminent technology awards program. Celebrating business growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, the program features distinct categories, including the Technology Fast 50 ranking, Enterprise Fast 15, and Companies-to-Watch. The program also recognizes companies within the North American Technology Fast 500 ranking, identifying technology companies in the United States and Canada. The 2020 program sponsors include Deloitte, RBC, CBRE, Clarity Recruitment, and Lafond. For further information, visit

About Deloitte 

Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Our global Purpose is making an impact that matters. At Deloitte Canada, that translates into building a better future by accelerating and expanding access to knowledge. We believe we can achieve this Purpose by living our shared values to lead the way, serve with integrity, take care of each other, foster inclusion, and collaborate for measurable impact.

To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 312,000 professionals, over 12,000 of whom are part of the Canadian firm, please connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

About Certn

Certn is a leading people data platform that helps businesses perform comprehensive background checks and ongoing risk monitoring on employees and contractors around the world faster than ever before. Used by leading employers, staffing firms, and the gig economy, Certn returns domestic and international criminal background checks, credit reports, reference checks, education verification, employment verification, motor vehicle records, identity verification, and more in minutes.