Kara Swisher

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Equifax Buys Identity Protection Startup TrustedID for About $30 Million

equifax_trustedid_logosData giant Equifax Inc. said it had bought TrustedID, a well-known Silicon Valley identity protection company.

While the Atlanta-based company declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, sources close to the situation said that the price was just north of $30 million in cash.

TrustedID has garnered about $20 million in funding from investors since it was founded in 2004, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Opus Capital, as well as from angel investor Brad Garlinghouse. It has been profitable in the past, but has more recently not been because it has been expanding its offerings.

As part of the transaction, TrustedID will become part of Equifax Personal Solutions, the company’s direct-to-consumer business unit that offers credit monitoring and identity protection solutions. That said, TrustedID’s 30 employees will remain at its Palo Alto, Calif., HQ.

TrustedID sells a suite of identity protection solutions centering on identity theft, ability to monitor online reputation on social media services and privacy protection to about one million consumers. For example, it has an exclusive relationship with AARP to offer credit and identity theft protection to its more than 37 million members.

CEO Scott Mitic said that the reason for the sale was to be able to expand its customer base further.

“We have spent years building a larger audience and we wanted to expand the reach of our products,” he said. “There is going to be an exponential growth of data protection control and it is an evergreen marketplace.”

Said Trey Loughran, president of Equifax Personal Information Solutions: “This is going to be a big category for us and TrustedID has a great reputation of being very flexible and responsive.”


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google