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After the failure of his first two business ventures, engineer and entrepreneur Ajay Trehan discovered enormous size in a company he stumbled upon by accident. Trehan started his second business venture in 2003 called CoreBPO where he outsourced BPO services to clients abroad. Many of its international clients have asked about the background checks the company uses to hire people. Unable to find any companies providing external reference check in India at the time, Trehan reached out to some people who work in HR for reference and found that there was indeed a huge business opportunity.
“The demand for authentication is huge in India. Right now this is a $2 billion industry and only about $100 million is provided,” Trehan said. After devoting some time to thorough research, he founded Authbridge in 2005. Since then, the company has conquered a significant part of the market.
Trehan explained that while companies did background checks, the whole process was still tedious because it was manual. What Authbridge did was find a way to digitize track records and identification data. Authbridge started as a product first company.
“In the past, the verification was very manual and therefore the process was weak. Because we understand this, we started developing technology that helps us digitize these track records by screening data internally and integrating it with any data the government provides to us. Furthermore, many companies have also given us their ex-employee data with their permission, which is then stored in large repositories.This allowed data of an employee’s personal identifiers and their employment history to be verified within seconds.built another product where process and criminal records of employees for more than a decade could be mined and compiled,” Trehan said.
The company, although founded in 2005, grew at a rapid pace during the pandemic. While Authbridge offered a convenient alternative to the manual background verification method, many companies went the other way, as it was the most preferred way to perform background verifications in India. However, during the pandemic, when almost all physical services were shut down, the switch to a digitized background check became not a luxury but a necessity. Trehan explains that since the company had developed extensive databases during their business, the digital push helped them capture a significant market. In fact, customer acquisition for Authbridge was highest in 2021.
In 2021, investor interest in the company also peaked. The company continued to start up until 2021, but received Series B financing of $7 million in December. Trehan said the decision to raise money was on hold for a while as the business grew organically and they reinvested everything they earned back into the business. However, in 2021 they raised money as the demand for their services grew exponentially. The funds raised are diverted to strengthen their product, improve the sales process and improve technology.
“I believe that the key to building a successful startup operating in our field is to strengthen their processes and be profitable from the start. Attracting investments can be delayed to reach a significant valuation later when the equity of the company to make money is indisputable,” he said. The entrepreneur adds that this is one of many lessons he has learned from his previous experiences. “Before Authbridge, I’ve had three startups. Out of three, two didn’t do well. Over time, you’ll understand why. So the next time you go into business, you’ll be wiser,” he adds.
The future prospects for the authentication business are exceptional, according to Trehan. While the company’s competition is also evolving given the lucrative nature of the business, Trehan believes that the heavy-handed approach Authbridge has taken to improve technology is unparalleled and therefore the company will continue its momentum by expanding its business year on year. double in terms of revenue.