ReputationDefender, a Redwood City-based startup aiming to help people manage their privacy and reputation in a world where more is being published and shared than ever before, raised $15 million in a third round of funding led by JAFCO Ventures. Earlier investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers along with Bessemer Venture Partners tacked on more funding as well.
The company sells monthly subscriptions to different services that monitor what is published about you or your children on the web. One product, PrivacyDefender, watches out for private details like your e-mail appearing on websites. The company has raised about $24 million so far.
The company’s chief executive, Michael Fertik, has become an outspoken critic of Facebook with a recent book “Wild West 2.0,” which is about how to prevent online slander and libel.
“When we started the company, we wanted to give people the maximum amount of control possible in this brave new world,” he said to us in an interview earlier this year. The company said it will use the funding to develop new products and acquire more customers.
It’s no easy task. The sheer reality is that any data can be reproduced and distributed at virtually zero cost, and for-profit companies that collect personal data and are dependent on advertising do not have interests that are 100% perfectly aligned with those of their users.