Background check company moving to Ignition Park

Outside photo of Catalyst One in South Bend, Indiana

SOUTH BEND — A background services company has announced plans to relocate to South Bend from Southern California and create perhaps dozens of new jobs over the next five to 10 years.

PreSearch will move from San Diego, CA to Catalyst One, a new multi-tenant building at Ignition Park, early next year.

Founded in Denver, but sold in 2012, PreSearch provides screening services, including employee and tenant screening, for clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

The company, which leverages technology to streamline the background check process, serves about 400 clients, co-owner Ryan Sandberg said.

“We plan to grow both marketing and sales in South Bend,” Sandberg said. “We have a few acquisition deals we’re working on that will add additional jobs.”

Sandberg said the company plans to add as many as 75 new jobs over the next five years and grow revenue from $500,000 per year to $1.5 million to $2 million “and beyond.”

Great Lakes Capital, which developed Catalyst One in partnership with the City of South Bend, is helping to facilitate the move.

Based in South Bend, the real estate investment firm is a recent investor in PreSearch and has pledged its support to the company.

The firm plans to lend its expertise to Sandberg and partner Travis Larson and leverage existing business relationships to steer clients to the fledgling company.

It also plans to be a customer.

“We kind of agreed before we invested that we were going to come on as a customer,” said Max Brickman, Managing Director of Heartland Ventures, the venture capital arm of Great Lakes. “We like what they have to offer.”

Of Sandberg and Larson, Brickman said, “they’re really qualified guys who know the background screening space very well.”

And it’s a space that’s growing rapidly, he said.

“There are a couple of other background screening companies that are considerably more expensive than PreSearch that have exploded in the last couple of years and reached valuations in the hundreds of millions,” Brickman said.

That includes Checkr, a San Francisco startup valued at a reported $250 million to $300 million.

“If (PreSearch) is able to come in and be a little more efficient” than its competitors, “they’re going to give them a run,” Brickman said.

Compared with Washburn, South Bend also offers a broader base of talent for hiring, Sandberg said, noting its proximity to the University of Notre Dame, which hosts Innovation Park, a sister site to Ignition Park.

“Having a main office in South Bend adds a lot of legitimacy to the company,” Sandberg said. “We were able to grow where we are right now pretty easily, but we want to grow to a $25 million company and beyond.”

PreSearch is the fourth company to locate to Catalyst One, joining Data Realty, Aunalytics and MicroIntegration.

Brickman said he expects that number to grow as Heartland Ventures expands its portfolio.

“Looking at five or six other companies we’re considering investing in the very near future,” he said, “and the majority of those will be taking up space in Catalyst One.”


(source: South Bend Tribune)