ReputationDefender, a company that helps people manage their reputations and privacy online, has raised around $2.6 million in a first round of institutional funding.
There are a number of businesses providing identity theft protection, such as Lifelock, TrustedID and Debix, but ReputationDefender is a bit different — it doesn’t focus on protecting your finances, and instead gives you control over the information about you that’s available online. Its earliest and best-known product, MyReputation, provides a monthly report on what people are saying about you on the web. Users can also pay ReputationDefender to help take negative mentions down.
But why do you need to pay for something like this — isn’t that what Google is for? Founder and chief executive Michael Fertik says the Redwood City, Calif. company culls through pages that aren’t indexed by Google or other search engines. It’s also easy to see why some people want to pay someone else to handle the headache of contacting sites that say untrue or mean things about you, or post unwanted photos. (ReputationDefender says it doesn’t target news articles, and it isn’t a law firm.) In fact, Fertik says ReputationDefender’s subscription revenues quadrupled between April and July. The company, founded in 2006, earned $1.21 million in revenue in 2007, he adds.
ReputationDefender’s other services include privacy management, a tool for parents to manage their child’s reputation and MyEdge, which publishes and disseminates positive information about you. Most customers have been individuals so far, but the company is also privately testing a product for businesses.
ReputationDefender actually raised most of the new funding in January, Fertik says. Now it’s considering a second round, although it may also choose to forgo any more venture backing, at least for now. Investors include Maples Investments, RP/JA Investments and European Founders Fund. ReputationDefender raised less than $1 million in angel funding back in 2007.