SYRACUSE, N.Y., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today BrandYourself.com—which recently launched the first do-it-yourself platform to help people control their own Search results—announced a Series A investment of $1.2 million. BrandYourself will use the round to continue its mission to help anyone control what shows up about them online, regardless of how tech savvy or wealthy they might be.
Investors include Zelkova Ventures, as well as a group of strategically chosen angel investors that includes Barney Pell, former head search strategist at Microsoft, and Carl Shramm, former CEO of the world-renowned Kauffman Foundation.
According to BrandYourself CEO Patrick Ambron, choosing the right investors was important. "Online Reputation is becoming a mainstream concern, but reputation companies that cost thousands of dollars just don't appeal to mainstream consumers. Once we launched the product, it was clear to everyone we were in a position to completely change the industry. We wanted a group of investors with the experience and resources to help us do that," he said.
The company started when co-founder Pete Kistler couldn't get an internship in college because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer on Google. Rather than pay a reputation company thousands of dollars to improve his results, he and Ambron wanted to create a free product that made it easy for anyone to do themselves. "In today's world, where search and social media is the first place we look to learn more about somebody else and 75% of HR departments are required to research candidates online, everybody should be taking this seriously," says Jay Levy, principal at Zelkova Ventures.
To sign up for a free account, go to BrandYourself.com. While the basic product is free, BrandYourself also offers a premium version with more powerful functionality for only a few dollars a month. "Our mission is to help everyone take control of their own search results," says Ambron, "So even our premium features are affordable for the average consumer."
BrandYourself.com is the first do-it-yourself platform that makes it easy for anyone to take control of their own Search results. It was founded in 2009 by Syracuse University classmates Pete Kistler, Patrick Ambron and Evan McGowan-Watson after Kistler couldn't get an internship for being mistaken in Google as a drug dealer. BrandYourself has raised more than $1.2 million in Series A funding and been recognized for its innovative technology, including being honored by the White House as one of the Top 100 Startups Run by Entrepreneurs Under 30, being named one of the Top 5 Collegiate Startups by Entrepreneur Magazine, and being named the winner of the New York State Emerging Business Technology competition, a $200,000 prize.