When we last wrote about SafetyWeb in November, they hadn’t launched yet. Still, that didn’t stop Battery Ventures from pumping in a $750,000 angel round of funding. Now they’re about three months post-launch and investors are clearly liking what they’re seeing as the service has just raised another $8 million.
SafetyWeb is a services that allows parents to monitor their children’s activity on social networks in realtime. They scan the web for a kid’s activity online and send alerts when something notable comes up — things as mild as negative comments being said, all the way up to a person convicted of a sex crime friending a child on a network. Initially, they’re scanning the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc), but eventually the plan is to scan all sorts of things — including the fast-growing geolocation services.
Obviously, child safety on the web is a big issue and it’s growing bigger every day as networks like Facebook approach 500 million users and consume kids’ time. Facebook in particular is interesting because as they continue to grow, they also continue to open up more user data to the public. And that’s right in SafetyWeb’s wheelhouse because they search the web for this public information (as opposed to logging in to kids’ accounts). For as little as $10 a month per child, SafetyWeb keeps parents up to date on all this stuff.
“We generally believe that the whole security market is shifting away from protecting people, not machines. We really are the first of a kind service that is not just people search posing as a product. We are the only ones that do both discovery and retrieval of real-time activity without requiring your kid’s credentials,” co-founder Geoffrey Arone tells us.
He also hints at some “big deals” the service has recently signed, but won’t say what they are just yet. He will say that right now, there are over 1,000 affiliates distributing SafetyWeb.
This new funding round was led by Battery Ventures with First Round Capital also participating. With the funding, Roger Lee from Battery is joining the Board of Directors, and Satya Patel from Battery is being added as an observer. They’re also adding former MySpace Security Czar, Hemanshu Nigam, to the Board. For the past four years, Nigam has been the Chief Security Officer for all of News Corps’ online properties.
SafetyWeb is up to 12 full time employees now — some working out of their headquarters in Denver, and the rest in their offices in Menlo Park.