We’ve all heard the horror stories: The guy whose apartment was used by Airbnb renters for a wild orgy; the woman kidnapped by an Uber driver, the eBay wedding-dress scammer.

Though we all love the ease of mobile and online marketplaces, we must have the ability to be reasonably sure the person on the other side of the contract can be trusted.

That’s why “trust-certification” technologies are getting to be a must for peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces, and the Israeli startup eRated is leading the pack.

In July, the Tel Aviv-based business announced its partnership with Tripda, a ridesharing platform rapidly expanding throughout North America, Latin America and Asia. This is the company’s 15th and largest deal thus far.

“We help online marketplaces build the trust they need to boost sales, ” says CEO and cofounder Boaz Cohen. “Tripda is the first ridesharing platform to adopt our trust certification, joining over a dozen other P2P marketplaces in integrating the eRated solution, including companies in the EU, US and China.”

The eRated technology allows Tripda drivers from 13 countries to import their online trust credentials from 30 other platforms — including eBay, Amazon, LinkedIn and Airbnb, among others — in three clicks.

“People want to interact with others whom they trust. We help online marketplaces build the trust they need to boost sales.”

Tripda cofounder Eduardo Prota commented, “We selected eRated as our strategic partner to build Tripda as the safest and most secure ridesharing marketplace in the world. Security is of paramount importance to our users and eRated gives us the authoritative, third-party trust certification our riders need to feel comfortable.”



If eRated-certified Tripda drivers participate in any other online marketplace, they don’t have to rebuild their trust profile. A widget displayed in the partner site aggregates and summarizes their ratings and feedback earned across various marketplaces and social networks, creating a universal identity.

For the partner company, the certification affects the bottom line.

“Tripda selected eRated as its trust partner after eRated’s 15 marketplace integrations proved its ability to boost user trust and transactions by 150 percent, ” says Cohen, referring to a case study conducted with one of the 18-month-old company’s first clients, SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for trading athletic gear. The study also showed that integrating eRated helped activate 10% of inactive sellers.

The importance of trust

“As a marketplace founder, eRated adds a ton of value by enhancing trust within our community. Our sellers have seen amazing results, ” said SidelineSwap CEO Brendan Candon.

In Israel, eRated is the first company of its kind. Globally, it currently has three competitors: TrustCloud, Traity and HaveKarma. However, eRated has achieved significantly more traction than any of them.

Cohen says that’s due to several unique features that distinguish the Israeli product, for example relying onpeer feedback rather than credit scores, and making the technologycustomizable so that clients can control it in-house.

He and his two cofounders, Yoav Artzi and Dan Benjamin — all veterans of renowned military technology units including Unit 8200 — got the idea for eRated in the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at IDC, a private university in Herzliya. Many successful startups have spun out of the Zell program.

The trio originally planned to build a new marketplace, but very quickly recognized the importance of trust in any such venture. “So we quickly decided to start working on eRated, ” Cohen explains.

After its founders graduated from IDC in 2014, eRatedentered the Techstars London accelerator and received $300, 000in seed funding, mainly from British angel investors. “We’re planning a big round in the next few months, ” says Cohen.

Meanwhile, Artzi is in Boston through October, representing eRated in the four-month MassChallenge incubator. “MassChallenge is part of our plan to expand to the US, ” says Cohen.

People want to interact with others whom they trust. eRated makes it easier to trust others through a simple and seamless marketplace integrationand helps users become trustworthy from day one. For marketplaces, this trust drives successful transactions and ongoing liquidity, ”he concludes.

Courtesy of Israel21C, by Abigail Klein Leichman