July 15, 2008 11:30 ET

TRUSTe Responds to Consumer Privacy Threats With Major Expansion

Investment From Accel Partners Will Advance TRUSTe's Innovation in Privacy Assurance

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - In response to increasing threats to consumer privacy, TRUSTe, the recognized authority on privacy best practices on the Internet today, announced the completion of its first round of financing from Accel Partners, a leading Silicon Valley venture firm. The investment will enable TRUSTe to create state-of-the-art monitoring systems to stay ahead of technology advances with new tools, products and best practices that facilitate trust between businesses and consumers.

TRUSTe currently monitors and validates privacy practices on 2,400 Web sites, including many of the most respected and heavily trafficked, such as Disney, HP, eBay, PayPal, Microsoft, Apple, Boy Scouts of America and Pepsi, protecting more than 240 million consumers per day. This strategic investment will allow TRUSTe to expand its market reach, offer new and innovative services, and respond to growing online privacy threats from technologies such as phishing, adware and spam. It will also enable TRUSTe to address emerging issues such as behavioral targeting, social networking, and mobile location-based services.

A recent survey found that consumers are becoming more concerned with online privacy -- 94% of consumers view privacy as an important issue(1) -- confirming the growing market need for credible third party validation of online trust and privacy. In addition, research shows that consumers spend more money on Web sites when a TRUSTe seal is present.

"As we all have become more dependent on the internet for a wide range of personal and business activities including shopping, banking, investing and everyday communications, there has been a dramatic increase in threats to personal privacy. This demands increased vigilance by consumers and more stringent practices by businesses," said Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe. "This investment from Accel Partners will help us further our mission of building trust on the Internet."

"Accel is committed to aligning with industry defining companies that possess unique insight to meet the evolving needs of consumers online," said Andrew Braccia of Accel Partners. "TRUSTe is the recognized leader in privacy assurance, and we believe they are well positioned to accelerate the adoption of best practices by more businesses large and small and the consumers they serve."

"The Board of Directors is extremely pleased that Accel Partners has stepped forward to fuel TRUSTe's future growth," said Ralph Terkowitz, Chairman of the Board of TRUSTe. "We believe that Accel Partners, one of the most respected investors in venture capital, will serve as a perfect partner to guide and fuel the success of TRUSTe as it expands to address new privacy frontiers."

About Accel Partners

Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of excellence and innovation in the venture capital business and is dedicated to partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class technology businesses. Accel today invests globally with offices in Palo Alto, California and London, as well as in China via the IDG-Accel Partnership. With over $4 billion under management, Accel has helped technology entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories include Actuate, Acopia, Agile Software, Alfresco, BBN, Brightcove, ComScore, Etsy, Facebook, Foundry Networks, GlamMedia, Imperva, Infinera, Interwoven, JBoss, Kayak, Macromedia, Maven Networks, metroPCS, Polycom/PictureTel, Portal Software, Rapt, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Riverbed, UUNet, Veritas,, Webroot, Wily Technology, XenSource and Zimbra. For more information, visit the Accel Partners web site at

About TRUSTe

TRUSTe helps millions of consumers identify trustworthy online organizations through its Web Privacy Seal, Email Privacy Seal and Trusted Download Programs. TRUSTe ensures online privacy and protects confidential user information on more than 2,400 Web sites and many of the most highly trafficked, including Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, Disney, eBay, Intuit, Pepsi and Apple. Independent research shows that when a TRUSTe web seal is present, visitors and customers are more likely to share personal information, register at higher rates and spend more money. To learn more about internet privacy visit

(1) TNS & TRUSTe Annual Consumer Privacy Study, 2008

Contact Information