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Checkr Acquires Inflection
Checkr Acquires Inflection
On April 12, 2022, Checkr announced the acquisition of B2B online background screener Inflection for approximately $400mm according to the WSJ. Architect Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Inflection.
Inflection is the leader in online background checks focused on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market segment. Their highly automated platform provides fast, accurate, and cost-effective solutions with the top customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. Inflection’s core offering is GoodHire, which mainly provides pre-employment background checks to over 100,000 SMB companies. GoodHire supports over 100 screening services (drug tests, education & employment verification, etc.), delivered through their easy-to-use online platform or via API, and services a broad range of verticals including construction, healthcare, retail, and technology. Inflection was founded in 2006 as a consumer-focused background check provider that shifted focus to the SMB market segment with the launch of GoodHire in 2013. The company is currently led by CEO Mike Grossman, COO Max Wesman, and CFO Jared Waterman. Since its inception, the company has raised $30 million from Sutter Hill Ventures (Gregory Sands) and Matrix Partners (Josh Hannah). The company has not raised outside capital since 2010. Inflection has the leading market share in the SMB segment for pre-employment background screening. Larger, legacy background check providers that focus more on large enterprise customers include First Advantage (NASDAQ: FA), Sterling Check (NASDAQ: STER), and HireRight (NYSE: HRT). Checkr is a background check provider founded to service the rapid background check needs of large gig economy businesses such as Uber, Lyft, and Instacart. Their platform now also offers solutions to SMB and enterprise customers across several verticals including healthcare, technology, retail, and more. Founded in 2014, Checkr is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is led by CEO Daniel Yanisse and has over 500 employees, serving over 15,000 enterprise customers. Over the last 8 years, Checkr has raised $560mm in equity funding through 6 rounds, with their latest series E round valuing them at $4.6B. Major investors in the company include Durable Capital Partners, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Coatue Management, T. Rowe Price (Corey Shull), Accel (Richard Wong), GV (Jules Maltz), Khosla Ventures, and several others. Historically, Checkr has made two acquisitions, both focused around delivering higher quality data to clients and increasing process efficiencies. They acquired Lymus in October 2018 and ModoHR Technologies in February 2022, both deals had prices undisclosed.
Background checks have become an increasingly common part of the hiring process for the majority of firms across the United States. With legacy providers such as HireRight, Sterling Check, and First Advantage seemingly focused more on large enterprise sales than on offering modern, automated online services, there is significant room for innovation and increased efficiency in the market. Checkr successfully reduced friction for demanding, high-volume gig economy employers via their automated API solution and has been moving downmarket into enterprise and mid-sized clients, while Inflection reduced friction for the SMB market segment through automation and a user-friendly UI and has been moving up market into the enterprise segment.
Through this acquisition, Checkr will significantly expand their fast-growing SMB business segment. Inflection brings Checkr tens of thousands of new SMB customers and some very strong data science capabilities based around collecting and cleansing people data. This makes Checkr the new leader in the SMB segment, and positions them to be able to offer a highly automated background screening offering to all market segments

OUR TEAM

Our partners roll up their sleeves and lead the day-to-day work.

Architect provides premium value M&A advisory and strategic financing for innovative entrepreneurs, investors, public company senior executives, and boards of directors. Our globally-experienced team is led by seasoned bankers who have honed their skills over decades at major firms and technology boutiques. We don’t have a B team–the partners you see are the people that do the work.

Eric F. Risley

Founder & Managing Partner

Eric F. Risley

Founder & Managing Partner

Eric Risley has guided senior executives and corporate boards through private and public financings, M&A and strategic transactions for over twenty-five years.

 

Eric founded and is Managing Partner at Architect Partners LLC, a digital asset and mergers & acquisition advisory firm focused on entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies and emerging technology sectors.

 

Previously, Eric led Global Software Corporate and Investment Banking for Banc of America Securities, building the practice into the technology group’s largest revenue-generating business while advising some of the firms’ largest clients including CA, BEA Systems, Symantec, Microsoft, Oracle and Veritas among others. Prior to BofA Securities, Eric co-founded the Silicon Valley technology investment banking practice for Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (subsequently CIBC World Markets) where he eventually led both the Internet and Software Investment Banking business units. Eric was also Head of Investment Banking at Rutberg & Company, the well regarded wireless research and investment banking boutique.

 

Eric’s brings clients executive and Board-level relationships built over two decades at hundreds of venture and growth investors as well as important acquirers across the technology, Internet, mobile digital media and newly emerging blockchain sectors.

 

Selected client mandates include financing advisory assignments for Crypto | DLT-based clients: Securitize acquisition of Velocity Capital Markets and Open Finance Network and LO3 Energy financings. Recently completed M&A advisory mandates include the divestiture of FICO’s Cyber Risk Score business to Institutional Shareholder Services, the sale of Velocity Capital Markets to Securitize, the sale of Mavencare to Bayada, the sale of HireAHelper to Porch, the sale of Zetta to Marlin Equity portfolio company Arcserve, the sale of ThinkSmart Technologies to Cisco, the sale of SkyFire Labs to Opera Software, the sale of Avaak to Netgear, the sale of Qualcomm-backed Gimbal to The Mobile Majority, the purchase of Best Buy subsidiary mindSHIFT by RICOH, the sale of ENCAP Security to AllClearID, the sale of ZLEMMA to Hired and the sale of Mobidia to App Annie.

Steve Payne

Co-Founder & Partner

Steve Payne

Co-Founder & Partner

Steve Payne co-founded Architect Partners with Eric Risley who he’s known for twenty years. He is a Silicon Valley veteran with decades of experience connecting innovative startups with large global tech players for venture capital investments, strategic partnerships, and acquisitions.

 

Steve was once a senior operating executive, a venture investor, and has long been a dealmaker in Silicon Valley. Recently, he was Managing Partner of the Ignite Group, a trans-Pacific venture capital partnership with funds in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. Before that, he headed New Products at Sega and was EVP of Product Development and Marketing at SegaSoft.

 

Two bubbles ago, Steve left management consulting to head product marketing for a Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital startup.

 

What ties his background together is a strong understanding of technology and a senior strategic perspective. He can connect young, fast-growing companies with world-class partners for business development, investment, or M&A.

 

Along the way, he’s built a broad network of relationships in the US venture ecosystem as well as in Asia and Europe and has completed more than a hundred venture financings and acquisitions.

 

In his spare time, Steve mentors startup CEOs and works with several accelerators to try to give back to tech and social entrepreneurs. He’s been a CEO mentor and/or business plan judge for the Cleantech Open, Draper University, K Global, One Harvard New Venture Competition, Global Social Ventures Competition, Oberlin LaunchU, along with others. Steve holds an engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Harvard. He has been a Director of two dozen private and non-profit boards.

Peter Stoneberg

Partner

Peter Stoneberg

Partner

Peter Stoneberg has decades of experience in the technology industry as an investor, CEO, and board member. He has been a strategic and financial advisor to public and private companies in the areas of raising equity and debt capital, M&A, management succession, and maximizing shareholder value through timely liquidity events.

 

As an investment banker and private equity investor, Peter has been involved in more than one hundred acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, and strategic partnerships. These transactions have represented more than thirteen billion in transaction value, mostly in the technology industry in Silicon Valley.

Elliot Chun

Partner

Elliot Chun

Partner

Elliot Chun has spent more than twenty years in capital markets across asset classes—digital asset markets, equities, FX, real estate— and across functions—investment banking, buy-side, consulting, and sell-side. For more than four years he has focused on crypto full-time, helping traditional companies to transition into the industry and bringing crypto companies access to capital markets.  ​​

 

He’s familiar with every size company having spent time at start-ups, Bank of America, and Perella Weinberg Partners.

 

Prior to Architect, Elliot founded and collaborated on ventures in blockchain and other emerging technologies, built an alternative asset management platform for a leading boutique investment bank, consulted on various initiatives for major investment banks, and started in cash equity sales and trading.

Michael Klena

Partner

Michael Klena

Partner

Michael Klena helps firms to raise capital and execute M&A. He has spent more than thirty years in financial services as a senior executive at leading firms like E*TRADE and TD Bank, working across the US and in London for several years. Over his career, Michael has been involved in numerous M&A deals, including Google’s IPO. Michael also led a Swiss digital asset exchange and an FX trading firm.

 

Along with his experience as a financial services senior executive, he possesses deep expertise in sales, service, trading, operations, and M&A within blockchain-based brokers and dealers, bricks-and-mortar, and online. Michael has built new divisions, overhauled struggling divisions, and developed management globally.

Todd White

Partner

Todd White

Partner

Todd White was involved in more than $1.8 billion in capital transactions for various re/insurance ventures. Before Architect, he served as an SVP, did Corporate Strategy for Montpelier Reinsurance Group, was the Founding Director for Blue Capital Management, and served as the Founding General Counsel for Flagstone Reinsurance. He brings more than twenty years of experience in re/insurance, asset management, and capital markets to the team.

Elizabeth Menke

Managing Director

Elizabeth Menke

Managing Director

Elizabeth Menke is a Managing Director at Architect Partners. She began her financial career at Dresdner Bank and KPMG in Germany before returning to business and graduate school. After working at Goldman Sachs during her MBA program, she joined the firm full-time. She spent three years in their Financial Institutions Group as part of their Investment Banking group.

 

Continuing her work in the FIG arena, she worked at Greenhill & Company. Following that, she worked at Rothschild, where she was the Vice President of the Restructuring and FIG team. She then spent five years as an independent consultant working on a variety of financial projects. In 2012, she began to focus on the tech industry—internet, ad tech, and fintech, and eventually joined a German-based M&A firm called Corporate Finance Partners.

 

In early 2013, she founded Soundview Corporate Advisory as a sole practice while working at Bentley. She holds a BA from Brown University, an MBA from The Wharton School, and an MA in International/Global Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Elizabeth joined the Architect team in 2022.

Glenn Gottlieb

Managing Director

Glenn Gottlieb

Managing Director

Glenn Gottlieb is a Managing Director at Architect Partners. He brings a strong business and transactional background from a broad range of vantage points to the team. Glenn handled product line growth at a global level—the world’s first laptop line and the world’s second sound card line—and has held senior business and corporate development roles. He’s worked in executive consulting and in investment banking. Additionally, he co-founded multiple companies including one of the first mobile e-commerce and location-based service companies, now owned by Yahoo.

 

Glenn’s ability to rapidly assess technology and its business implications has enabled him to evaluate and execute multiple corporate investment, acquisition, and spin-out opportunities across a wide variety of technology sectors including big data, IT infrastructure, cyber security, cloud services, telecom infrastructure, e-commerce, productivity, and video broadcast services with industry-leading companies like Sirius XM, SRI International, Raytheon, Pacific Bell Mobile Services (ATT Wireless), and SK Telecom. As an investment banker, Glenn served as a director with Dresner Partners where he advised technology companies in the big data, SaaS, IT infrastructure, and cyber security markets.

 

As a strong believer in the sound mind and sound body philosophy, Glenn starts every day with an early morning workout which he claims keeps him sane. After enjoying Silicon Valley for a long time from Los Gatos, Glenn now enjoys life in Dallas, Texas.

 

Glenn holds a BS in Computer Science, a BA in Mathematics from Indiana University, and an MBA from Butler University.

Howard Lee

Senior Advisor

Howard Lee

Senior Advisor

Howard Lee, a Senior Advisor at Architect Partners, has more than twenty-one years of experience in venture capital and private equity investing in Silicon Valley, and more than a decade of experience in research, development, and marketing in emerging and established technology companies and research institutions. His investments have spanned venture capital and private equity funds, and venture secondary. Howard brings extensive primary and direct secondary venture investment experience and networks in cybersecurity and IT infrastructure that provide trusted value to entrepreneurs and founders as they manage and build their companies.

 

Most recently, Howard was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Founders Equity Partners (FEP), a $94 million venture secondary fund focused on the cybersecurity sector. Prior to FEP, he was Co-Head for US Private Equity at CDIB Capital, the private equity arm of CDIB, the largest industrial bank in Taiwan.

 

Prior to CDIB Capital, Howard was a General Partner at Crystal Ventures, a venture capital firm that focused on early-stage infrastructure and enabling technology companies in both the US and Asia. Howard was also a Vice President of the global venture capital firm Crimson Ventures. Before Crimson, he was Vice President and Co-Founder of Volendam Capital Advisors, a venture fund that invests in emerging growth high technology companies in the US and Europe. Howard has held management positions in product management and marketing at Applied Materials and has worked as a research investigator in optoelectronics and semiconductor materials at the US Army Research Labs. He has also held engineering positions at IBM and Unisys.

 

He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the San Jose Police and Fire Retirement Plan and as an advisor and mentor to several Silicon Valley organizations including the Entrepreneurship course at the University of California at Berkeley.

 

Howard holds a BS (Highest Honors) in Electrical Engineering, a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Electro-Optics from Cornell University, and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Ryan McCulloch

Associate

Ryan McCulloch

Associate

Ryan McCulloch, now an associate at Architect Partners, started at the firm as an intern. He’s been on the team for three years.

 

Ryan graduated from San Diego State University, where he majored in Finance. He is passionate about investment banking and is especially interested in emerging technology M&A.

 

Throughout his life, Ryan has played hockey and still finds time for a pickup game every once in a while. Ryan also enjoys golfing, staying active, and going to the gym.

Dan Wang

Operations & Strategy

Dan Wang

Operations & Strategy

Dan Wang handles Operations and Strategy at Architect Partners. He has more than seven years of experience at early-stage companies as a founder, consultant, and advisor. Along with operations and strategy, he enjoys working on business development.

Arjun Mehra

Financial Analyst

Arjun Mehra

Financial Analyst

Arjun Mehra is a Financial Analyst at Architect Partners. He is passionate about digital assets, blockchain, and decentralized finance.