Brisbane born-and-bred founder and CEO Chris came to the UK in 2016 to expand his HRtech company Adepto, a platform that helped businesses match their talent to their projects. Having scaled the business to 50+ employees, Adepto was then acquired by Degreed in 2019 when Chris went on to the US as part of the business integration; they subsequently raised a $150m Series D. It was during his time in the US when the seeds were sown for what was to later become Konfir. With his background in payroll and HR systems, Chris spotted there was a massive opportunity on the table in the UK and Europe as crucial HR and payroll data was starting to become more available. So he set to work getting Konfir off the ground and soon raised a £1.6m pre-seed from his previous backers Triple Point Ventures in February 2022.
We were first introduced to Chris last summer by an industry leader in the background checking space and have kept close ties to what they’ve been building ever since. Over the past year, in collaboration with their forward-thinking set of customers, the Konfir team has since built and launched a new way of instantly verifying employment in the UK. Their strong early traction is testament to Chris’ proven ability to execute at pace and to hire a stellar team around him including Head of Growth Steve O’Neill (25 years in the space), Head of Engineering Paolo Escobar and Head of Product Tom McAuliffe (ex-Salary Finance).
The sell to clients is pretty simple: Konfir offers a quick way to confirm employment history. Though seemingly straightforward, the reality is that this solves a major pain point for anyone conducting a background check. Whilst many areas of this process have been automated, such as criminal record checks and ensuring right to work, until now validating employment remains highly manual, offline and unsecure. Chris brought to life how it works right now in his recent interview with TechFundingNews: “it’s emailing and asking ‘did this person work here?’ and hoping to get a reply. But only 60% of those emails get a reply”. The consequence is days of admin, reviews and delays (as well as potential fraud), ultimately causing a really poor first interaction with the new employee. This is especially relevant for employers in the current climate where the battle for talent is only heating up; getting this right as an employer is now critical.
Konfir’s solution, however, condenses all this into a matter of minutes. The journey involves users seamlessly linking data sources including bank account or payroll, then Konfir applies its algorithms to it, and then near instantly ratifies employees’ past 3-5 years employment and income history. All the while the employee retains all the control and ownership of the data; to date, more than 80% of candidates enable Konfir to process their employment history. The raw data itself is only becoming more accessible, but what the industry is desperately missing is the upstream aggregation platform that brings it all together. That said, Konfir is just getting started and there is lots more to do in order to become the defacto for employment and income verification to help people progress seamlessly through life.
Although the Konfir team have started selling their solution into HR, who themselves had a stark realisation during Covid that gone are the days of turning up to job interviews with various print-outs, there is a major opportunity to apply their technology to further use cases where employment and income history needs to be proven. Background checking is big business and these checks aren’t confined to just getting a job; whether it’s moving house, getting a mortgage or a car loan, even applying for a credit card, there are numerous journey’s that could benefit from Konfir’s slick digital offering. This translates into a huge variety and volume of companies crying out for this crucial data validation when helping customers take on life’s big events.
For us at Love Ventures, we look to back exceptional entrepreneurs that are reimagining how, and where, we spend our time and money. Chris is certainly the former, and Konfir itself sits neatly at the intersection of FinTech, PropTech (we’re looking at you tenant verification) and ConsumerTech where we see huge opportunities to drive greater efficiency and unlock opportunities for people to progress in life.
We’re hugely looking forward to supporting the whole Konfir team on their valiant mission to remove the friction from life events by creating a streamlined, transparent and connected process while enabling people to access, control and share trusted evidence of their employment journey.