On July 2nd, GeekWire reported that private equity company H.I.G. had purchased Intelius, a well-known people search, public records and background check company based in Bellevue, Washington.
H.I.G. reportedly bought Intelius and their parent company, Inome Inc., in a deal that is believed to be in excess of $100 million.
Intelius was started in 2003 by Naveen Jain and several former InfoSpace employees as a data broker of people search and consumer records information.
The company is also behind an employee screening service called TalentWise and an identity protection service called IdentityProtect.
In 2009, Intelius bought Spock, a free people search engine, which now directs users to ZabaSearch, another one of the company’s people search acquisitions.
In 2011, Intelius bought a popular Facebook genealogy app called Family Builder.
The company also launched TrueRep in 2011. TrueRep allows people to add their own personal explanations to their background check report as well as monitor, edit and control some of the personal information that is available through Intelius.
The company also offers a smartphone app that lets people research the backgrounds of potential dates online.
Over the years, the company has weathered a number of problems and lawsuits that range from aggressive marketing tactics and customer service issues to consumer privacy and opt-out complaints.
In 2012, the United States Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into a number of consumer data brokers that included Intelius. However, the investigation ended with not much more than an agency report detailing their findings along with some consumer warnings and suggested industry guidelines.
Other data brokers that were included in the FTC investigation included: Acxiom, Corelogic, Datalogix, Peekyou, Rapleaf and Recorded Future.
The company reportedly has revenues in excess of $150 million annually.
Intelius executives have refused to discuss the price that H.I.G. paid for the company, but the price is reportedly in the $100 – $200 million range.
The Intelius deal closed on July 1st, 2015 with terms that include Jain keeping a 25 percent ownership stake in the company.
Intelius executives cancelled plans to go public several years ago.
Intelius filed for an IPO in 2008, but never went public. They cancelled their plans for a public offering in 2010, but raised the possibility of an initial public offering again in 2011.
Jain said he is working on a new technology startup that is focused on the healthcare field.
H.I.G. is a private equity firm based in Miami, Florida with over $17 billion in assets.