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New funding from Kleiner and Bessemer fuels startup seeking to defend customer reputations online
ReputationDefender, a new startup focused on online reputation and privacy management, has secured $8.65 million in Series B funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Bessemer Venture Partners. David Cowan and Ted Schlein, partners at Bessemer and Kleiner, respectively, will be joining the company's board of directors, with Mike Maples, managing partner at Maples Investments, and Michael Fertik, CEO and Founder of ReputationDefender.
In the online world, privacy seems to be cracking at the seams. ReputationDefender seeks to help customers amend the problems created by crumbling privacy by ensuring that its customers are accurately portrayed online. The company's services are targeted at pretty much anyone and everyone--professionals, small business owners, students, social Web enthusiasts, parents, etc. Privacy is important and ReputationDefender promises to do just what its name says.
“The Internet is a utility for every life transaction, but it also threatens privacy and personal reputation. The explosion of consumer content on social channels like Facebook and search has awakened people to the reality that they need a way to control what’s being said about them online,” said Michael Fertik. “With the experience and support of Bessemer and Kleiner Perkins, we can continue to make huge strides in improving and developing our products.”
The timing on this funding really couldn't have been better.
Tech blogs have been in a bit of a tizzy over the past few days because of some words said by CEO Mark Zuckerburg in relation to online privacy. Zuckerberg argues that public has become the new "social norm" and therefore Facebook's new privacy changes merely keep up with user expectations.
While one can easily find arguments in favor of or against Zuckerberg's philosophy, the point remains that online privacy has become a hot issue in recent years due to the instant availability of personal information online.
ReputationDefender, which itself pointed out a few flaws in Zuckerberg's argument, could really see its business grow over the next few years, as Facebook continues to loosen up on privacy. After all, 350 million (the number of worldwide users on Facebook) is no small matter.
And that's just one social network.
Fertik says the new funding will be used to hire more engineers, a major investment in further technology and product development. The company has recently expanded its marketing operations and plans to release several new products in the months to come.
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