Last year, research by PeoplePerHour showed that the rapid growth of the self-employed market would lead to half of the UK and US working population being freelance by 2020.

This trend has created an opening for San Francisco-based Checkr, which launched in May 2014 to provide businesses with a quick background checking service for prospective freelance contractors, giving companies an edge in securing the best talent.

Launched by software engineers Jonathan Perichon and Daniel Yanisse – the latter a former NASA engineer – the company’s background reports are ready in 48 hours and include address history, sex-offender searches and social security number verification, in addition to checking applicants’ names against terrorist watch lists and crime databases.

Checkr works in numerous industries across the US and Canada and counts Uber among its clients. To date it has raised $39m (£27m) from Y Combinator, Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and Google Ventures, among others.