Funds Invest in Privacy Start-Ups

As privacy snafus mount across companies such as Facebook Inc. and AT&T Inc. (T), venture capitalists have spotted a new market opening and are pumping millions of dollars into privacy-related start-ups.

This month, online privacy start-up ReputationDefender Inc. plans to disclose that it has raised $15 million in new venture funding–even though the company wasn’t actively looking for new cash. SafetyWeb Inc., which helps parents monitor their kids’ online activities, said Thursday it closed $8 million in funding. And Truste, which offers seals of approval to websites that meet certain privacy standards, raised $12 million earlier this month.

Many of the investors include top-tier venture-capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Accel Partners. Venture firms such as Jafco Ventures, Atlas Venture and Battery Ventures also have invested in online-privacy start-ups in the past few months.

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