With $2M in funding, this startup helps companies develop certification tests faster

Chicago startup Certiverse is building a tech platform that allows subject-matter experts to asynchronously write exam questions and get paid for it.

By Katherine Davis - Associate Editor, Chicago Inno

To help businesses more quickly create industry exams and certification tests, Chicago startup Certiverse is building a tech platform that allows subject-matter experts to asynchronously write exam questions and get paid for it.

Founded in 2019 by Ruben Arturo Garcia, Certiverse helps companies develop certification and licensure tests more quickly by connecting them with subject-matter experts, who write questions for tests. Certiverse also seamlessly handles royalty payments for companies so that question writers can quickly get paid.

“There’s a lack of innovation still in testing and one of the areas that I thought really needed attention was content,” Garcia said. “Exam development is very expensive and time-consuming.”

Certiverse launched its first exam last year with The Linux Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization for developers to code, manage and scale open technology projects. The startup’s platform helped Linux create multiple choice questions for its entry-level IT certification tests, cutting down test development time from a whole year to just 12 weeks, Garcia said.

The success of the Linux test attracted more clients, and now Certiverse says it is helping clients develop more than 40 tests this year.

Certiverse isn’t Garcia’s first startup in the testing space. In 2009, he founded Innovative Exams, which specialized in online remote exam proctoring mainly for licensure tests.

“The problem that we were trying to solve was making it easier for test-takers to take exams and to take exams closer to where they live,” Garcia said.

In 2015, he sold Innovative Exams to PSI Services, a California testing content company, for an undisclosed price, and worked for PSI for a few years after the acquisition before launching Certiverse in 2019.

Fast forward to this spring and Certiverse closed a $2 million seed round in April led by Hyde Park Venture Partners, with participation from Chingona Ventures, Angeles Investors and Hunt Holdings. The new funding brings Certiverse’s total funding to about $3 million, Garcia said.

The financing is being used for product development and marketing. Certiverse currently employs about 20 people.

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