JantaKhoj – Publicly Available Data is Public Again
JantaKhoj is a people search engine for India. The startup manually collects data from different “publicly” available sources and compiles them in to one place to make it searchable over the web.
The main sources of data are records of various govt. departments (which the company chooses not to disclose). The startup claims to have 500 million data records covering around 450 million Indians. The records in most cases also have phone number and information about neighbors and relatives.
The core business of the startup is providing background verification services for employment and matrimonial needs. The price ranges between Rs.1475 and Rs.2225 per verification. The corporate and matrimonial verification market is huge in India, so the business makes a lot of sense.
Apart from general data the engine also serves results from networking sites, Court records (coverage across judgements of Supreme Court and most of the High Courts), phone books and patents.
We tried playing with the search tool a little and were not impressed by the quality of data. Redundancy was high, data was not comprehensive and outdated in some cases. The startup claims the reliability of data is completely based on the source of acquisition.
If you are concerned about your privacy, you may request for removing a certain record from the database. You will need to submit more data proof about yourself so that they can verify and suppress your record.
Janta, hop in here and starting looking for her address. Hope you ring the right doorbell.
What do you think? How can they make the product better?
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He writes at The Inspire Blog]