As part of the restructuring, Intelius founder Naveen Jain told staffers in a memo that it plans to spin off its Talentwise employment screening division into a separate company, a transaction that’s expected to occur by the end of the year. Some staffers are shifting to Talentwise, but others say they have lost their jobs in the shakeup.
Intelius, which has built its business around online background checks of individuals, is in the process of repositioning its efforts on a new platform that it’s calling Inome, short for “information genome.”
In an email exchange, Jain tells GeekWire that he doesn’t consider it a layoff, but “simply aligning resources with our new focus.” The company will continue to employ 350. In the memo, he said it is a move to “right-size” the company in order to “align our resources with our future direction.”
“For us to succeed on this journey, we will need to think like a new startup, focus on what we do best and empower other organizations to bring out the potential of our powerful inome technology,” he wrote.
Intelius was founded in 2003 by Jain and other former executives of Bellevue Internet search company InfoSpace. Last year, the company settled a dispute with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna involving allegations of deceptive marketing tactics. As part of the agreement, Intelius agreed to pay $1.3 million.
Intelius had previously filed to go public, but canceled those plans in 2010. That year, the company showed revenue of $150 million, sparking some speculation that it could once again take the IPO plunge.
Here’s the full memo that Jain sent to staffers today.
Subject: inome update
Earlier this year I announced a strategic shift for the company to focus on creating a world-wide, person centric information genome data platform. To reflect this shift we started inome. Since founding Intelius we have felt that the Internet has lacked complete and accurate information about people. Our goal with inome is to change that. Over the last decade we have mastered the technology to organize both structured and unstructured data available online and offline. We believe that our platform is well suited to take advantage of the ever growing and evolving nature of dynamic information. inome will put consumers at the center of the Web, putting the power of who they are online in their own hands.
For us to succeed on this journey, we will need to think like a new startup, focus on what we do best and empower other organizations to bring out the potential of our powerful inome technology. We can’t imagine, let alone build all of the applications to take advantage of our rich platform; however, we can create an opportunity for creative developers and companies that are constantly pursuing these specific vertical markets by exposing them to our platform. These third party applications may range from recruiting, gamification (like the iPrize winning app idea – six degrees of separation), consumer risk management, social capital or enhanced contact management to name a few. This requires us to maintain a focus in our day to day execution on building the inome platform and evolving a developer network around this platform. We have a tremendous opportunity to bring innovative business models to various markets through the deployment of our inome platform and thereby disrupting markets that we normally would not enter with our core applications.
Over the years we have dominated the consumer empowered “information commerce” market. We will continue to innovate within this market and launch new products that empower consumers to be aware of their own inome and create self-managed ‘wiki’ pages for billions of people, a huge market opportunity for us. Our focus is to build services that delight our customers. Our brands Intelius and USSearch are well known to consumers and we need to continue to expand the reach of these brands. However, our future success is dependent on the success of our inome data platform.
Our decision to focus on the inome platform requires us to make some tough decisions; decisions which require candid introspection and decisive actions. As history has repeatedly demonstrated – success requires relentless focus and execution. As part of this process, we have initiated the spinning off of our enterprise business, Talentwise, as a separate company. We expect to complete this process before the end of 2012. This step will allow us to concentrate on our ongoing investment in the inome platform and also enable TalentWise to focus on its SAAS-based hiring process business.
We also have made the difficult decision to right-size the company to align our resources with our future direction. This action requires us to scale back our employment in various areas that are not aligned with our platform strategy. Unfortunately, this will impact some people who have been dedicated and valued employees with our company. However, we are taking steps to allow those impacted to share in the future success of our company. Your manager will be reaching out to you on the details of these actions in the next few hours. Because our focus is to build a rich and scalable inome platform, the impact of our right-sizing will have a relatively small impact on our engineering department.
In conclusion, this has been a difficult decision and one that made with a significant amount of evaluation and thought. Those impacted have been valuable contributors to us. I also want to reemphasize the important point that the company has an enormous opportunity to disrupt many markets with the inome platform. I, along with the management team, will continue to take actions as needed to realize this opportunity and make inome a great success.