Web of Trust (WOT), the safe surfing tool/browser add-on which is powered by the crowd, has raised a fresh €1M (approx. ~$1.3M) led by Finland/China-based VC firm, Inventure. Also participating in the round is private investor, Risto Siilasmaa, and Finnish Industry Investment, a previous backer of the Helsinki-based company.
The new capital will be used for “additional product development” as WOT aims to continue on a growth path that has seen it double the number of downloads for its browser add-on over the last year, to total 50 million.
WOT offers a free browser add-on to help users ensure that they are only visiting trustworthy/reliable websites. It does this by harnessing the power of the crowd — other users who have installed the add-on and actively rate the sites they visit — and conveys this information via a traffic-light rating system next to website links in search results, for example, or in the browser address bar itself.
To date, its community has rated the reputation of “nearly 39 million websites” based on their experiences in terms of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety — helping to highlight and stop users visiting dodgy sites that might not get caught by a traditional virus checker, claims the company, such as sites with questionable content, “dubious” online stores, or privacy violations.
Furthermore, WOT users rate approximately 300,000 websites every week and the add-on gives an average of 2.5 million warnings of untrustworthy sites every day, apparently. In addition to those crowdsourced ratings, the results are boosted with information from selected technical data services.
Interestingly, alongside its consumer-facing browser add-on, WOT licenses the website reputation data that it collects to other companies, including Facebook. It also offers corporates a site-wide license for its safe surfing tool. Presumably, it’s these two B2B products in which WOT actually makes money.
WOT Services Ltd. provides unique community-powered tools that boost trust on the Web. Web of Trust (WOT) is the leading community-based safe surfing tool that uses an intuitive traffic-light rating system to help web users stay safe as they search, surf and shop online. Web site ratings are powered by a fast growing worldwide community of 26 million users who have rated the reputation of 33 million websites based on their experiences in terms of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy...
Inventure focuses on venture capital: creating value in early-stage technology companies. As an investor, they benefit from strong proprietary deal-flow, extensive resources and network in creating successful technology-driven companies, and strong experience in managing technology-focused venture capital funds. Inventure manages funds with EUR 53 million in total capital base.