Intelius

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Intelius
Privately held company
Industry Information commerce
Genre Electronic commerce
Founded January 2003
Founder Naveen Jain, John Arnold, Ed Petersen, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, Chandan Chauhan
Headquarters Bellevue, Washington,
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Prakash Kondepudi, CEO
Services People Search, Background checks
Number of employees
63
Website http://www.intelius.com

Intelius, Inc. is a public records business headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, United States.[1] It provides information services, including background checks and identity theft protection, and post transaction marketing.[2] Intelius, founded by former InfoSpace executives, was started in 2003. Concerns from consumer groups between 2008 and 2010 have drawn negative attention to Intelius.

History[edit]

Intelius was founded in 2003[3] by six former Infospace executives: Naveen Jain, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, Ed Petersen, Chandan Chauhan and John Arnold.[4] Intelius submitted plans for an initial public offering on January 10, 2008,[5] but withdrew in October 2010.[6]

On December 5, 2006, Intelius acquired Bothell, Washington-based IntelliSense Corporation, a background check, fingerprinting and drug screening company. The acquisition of Intellisense eventually became TalentWise. TalentWise was then spun off to Intelius stockholders in May 2013.[7] On April 30, 2009, Intelius acquired Spock, a people-oriented search engine.[8]

In November 2011, Intelius purchased the Facebook genealogy app Family Builder.[9] In 2012, Intelius was renamed "inome" to serve as the corporate umbrella, and the Intelius name was given to the division focusingon background checks.[10] By 2015, inome was doing business once again as Intelius. On July 1, 2015, Intelius was acquired by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. As part of the transaction, Prakash Kondepudi replaced Jain as the company's CEO.[citation needed]

Information services[edit]

Intelius provides information services about people.[citation needed] It provides background checks and verification of identity under the InteliSign brand. Intelius often targets consumers with an interest in dating, especially online dating.[11] Industry experts say the advertising campaign's relies on "scare tactics".[1][12] Intelius has created an application for mobile devices that allows users to do a quick background check on a potential date.[13]

Consumer complaints[edit]

In 2008 the company discontinued its phone directory services after legal threats and negative press attention focused on allegations that the opt-out process was unreasonably difficult.[14][14][15] Among other things, it was also criticized for providing private cell phone numbers.[16]

On September 30, 2009, before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a class action lawsuit was filed alleging that Intelius automatically enrolled California consumers into programs of its partner, Adaptive Marketing, without permission.[17] The complaint showed evidence as to how the defendants allegedly automatically charged California consumers' credit cards for "memberships" and intentionally frustrated the victims' abilities to dispute the charges.[18] On October 19, 2009, in the Federal Court in Seattle, Intelius was accused of violating Washington's Consumer Protection Act.[19]

Intelius received thousands of consumer complaints regarding post-transaction marketing practices and allegedly deceptive credit card charges. The Washington Attorney General sued Intelius and a $1.3 million settlement was reached in August 2010.[20] In November 2011 the company announced the inclusion of TrueRep to its services. This program allows consumers to provide explanations for any indiscretions on their records.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nina Shapiro (2007). "Intelius Says it's Capable of Conducting a Full Background Check on Anyone". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  2. ^ John Swartz; Byron Acohido (2007-04-02). "Who's guarding your data in the cybervault?". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  3. ^ Duryee, Tricia (Aug 13, 2007). "Cellphone directory grabs your number". The Seattle Times. Retrieved Jul 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ David Heath and Sharon Pian Chan (2005-03-07). "Dot-con job: How InfoSpace took its investors for a ride Part 2 - Cashing Out". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  5. ^ Julie Vorman (2008-01-10). "Intelius plans IPO of up to $143.75 mln - SEC filing". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  6. ^ "Intelius withdraws plans for IPO". The Seattle Times. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  7. ^ John Cook (2013). "TalentWise spins off from Naveen Jain's Inome with $25M from mysterious backer". GeekWire. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  8. ^ Lisa Hoover (2009). "Spock sale sparks privacy concerns". Computerworld. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  9. ^ John Cook (2011-10-25). "Intelius quietly buys Facebook genealogy app Family Builder". Geekwire.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  10. ^ Cook, John (2012-06-10). "Meet Inome: The latest thing to sprout from Naveen Jain". GeekWire. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  11. ^ Sara Kehaulani Goo (2007). "Dinner, Movie, Background Check for Online Daters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  12. ^ Mandy Stadtmiller (2006). "Check Mate - More Women Paying To Investigate Dates". The New York Post. Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ Ubergizmo (2010). "Intelius DateCheck Software". Ubergizmo. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  14. ^ a b Suzanne Choney (2008). "Company shuts down cell phone directory". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  15. ^ Svensson, Peter (2/4/2008). "Cell-phone directory assistance closing". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-05-01.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ Alex Johnson (2008). "Cell phone directory rings alarm bells". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  17. ^ Michael Arrington (2008). "Naveen Jain's Latest Scam: Intelius,". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  18. ^ Nina Shapiro (2009). "Internet Wizard Loses His Magic: Intelius Hit with Two Class Action Suits". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  19. ^ Intelius hit with another lawsuit as it alters marketing tactics
  20. ^ Chris Grygiel (2010-08-09). "'Deceptive' Intelius cheated thousands of people". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  21. ^ Greg Lamm (2011-11-15). "Got a blotch on your record? Intelius lets you explain". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2011-11-20.