With apps available for everything from finding taxis to dog walkers, it was just a matter of time before an app to hire PIs became available. The new app Trustify is the brainchild of Danny Boice—the cofounder of and CTO of Speek. As of early July 2015, it is only available in the DC area, but if it works out, Trustify will roll out in other cities across the country.
The idea for Trustify was born from Boice’s experience in trying to hire a PI to find out if his divorced wife was breaching their custody agreement by taking their children to stay with her new partner. Boice found it difficult to find a reliable PI who did not charge a hefty consulting fee before doing any work.
Over time, he became an expert on the PI industry which is increasingly lucrative. The Wall Street Journal reported that annual revenue from such services doubled to more than $5 billion between 2002 and 2012.
Trustify is available as web and iOS apps and provides the public with PIs who have verified background credentials. The interface is set up with pay-as-you-go pricing and enables customers to hire PIs in small blocks of time. Sometimes, that is all that is needed to take a few pictures or get simple documentation. The app starts by asking a series of questions about the customer’s situation, and a PI will start on the case within 48 hours and fulfill the requirements.
The app is pricey for PIs, because they get $30 per hour while customers pay $59 an hour. Trustify is still modifying its price structure.
Results from the DC rollout are promising, and with $1 million in angel funding, the company’s next step will be to launch in other cities. It remains to be seen whether this business model will be successful, but given the strong demand for short-term PI services, it seems like a strong bet.