Former Google exec Katragadda invests in BetterPlace

20 Nov, 2015

BetterPlace Safety Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based startup that uses data analytics to perform background verification service, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from former Google India executive Lalitesh Katragadda.

Katragadda, who was Google's country head for products, has also joined BetterPlace's board, the company said in a statement. He will lead all technology initiatives at the startup.

Pravin Agarwala, co-founder and CEO of BetterPlace, said Katragadda's experience will help the company improve its offerings and guide its strategies. Agarwala previously headed the cloud computing division at SAP as vice president.

Katragadda told that it is easy to spoof the existing safety systems that go into the verification and background check of an individual and that there is need for advanced technology to adopt a sound safety mechanism in a cost-effective manner.

An IIT-Bombay alumnus and a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, Katragadda is credited to be the man behind Google Mapmaker. He is also serving as an advisor to the central government and Andhra Pradesh government on projects related to redesigning fibre grids to ensure availability of high-bandwidth internet.

Founded in January 2015, BetterPlace provides personal, employment, educational, criminal and training verification services using data analytics and application tools.

BetterPlace recently introduced its services to apartment associations by offering them its proprietary visitor management system through a tie-up with real estate portal CommonFloor and ApartmentADDA, a platform for housing societies and residential complexes to manage their accounts.

The company hopes to create a database of 10 million data profiles by the end of next year.

The legwork for background verification is done by a 2,000-member strong 'feet-on-street' team, as Agarwala describes it. This function is largely outsourced to third-party agencies and these people do not form part of the permanent workforce of the company. Its technology, account management and marketing teams have 40 people who operate out of its headquarters in Bangalore.