Disconnect Raises $3.5 Mln in Series A Financing

Disconnect said today that it has received $3.5 million in Series A funding. The lead investor was FirstMark Capital. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Disconnect, which has also become certified as a B Corporation, is a provider of online privacy and security software.


PALO ALTO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 17, 2013) – Disconnect (https://disconnect.me/), a fast-growing market leader in online privacy and security software, is announcing today the completion of a $3.5 million Series A round led by FirstMark Capital. The round brings the company’s total funding to $4.1 million. Disconnect is also proud to announce its successful certification as a B Corporation, which formalizes the company’s commitment to social entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility.
Disconnect co-founders Brian Kennish and Casey Oppenheim say the new funding will be used to make their powerful but easy-to-use apps available to as many people on as many platforms as possible, starting today with the launch of Disconnect 2 for Safari and Opera.
Disconnect 2, the company’s latest app, is a browser extension that lets users visualize and block more than 2,000 third-party websites that otherwise track people’s browsing history. The extension also filters out possible sources of malware, encrypts the data users share with popular sites to prevent wireless eavesdropping, and optimizes pages so they load 27% faster and use 17% less bandwidth on average. Disconnect 2 was recently named the best anti-tracking extension by Lifehacker and, with today’s release, is now available for the Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera browsers.
“Increasingly, people want to know who’s tracking them online and want to have a say about what information is being collected about them,” says Oppenheim, a consumer-rights attorney. Kennish, previously a Google engineer, continues: “Our software is designed to put users back in control so they can decide how their personal data is used.”
Disconnect is part of a new breed of innovators building for-profit businesses with the goal of solving important social issues. “As a B Corporation, we’re able to spend more time than a traditional company on activities such as consumer education, petition drives, and close collaboration with non-profits,” says Gus Warren, a former Venture Partner at FirstMark Capital who has joined Disconnect’s executive team and will run the company’s New York office. “Disconnect is committed to benefiting not just shareholders but all stakeholders, including the public.”
“We’re really excited about Disconnect,” adds Rick Heitzmann, a founder and Managing Director of FirstMark Capital. “As recent events have emphasized, we believe online privacy is a ‘megatrend’ that will be an increasingly important issue for more and more people for many years to come and we believe Disconnect will continue to lead in the space.”
Disconnect’s new releases and existing apps can be found at https://disconnect.me/.
About Disconnect
Disconnect was founded in 2011 by a former Google and DoubleClick engineer and a consumer- and privacy-rights advocate and attorney. The company develops award-winning, user-friendly privacy and security software in Palo Alto, California. Disconnect is both a for-profit business and consumer-advocacy organization, whose mission is to help people understand and control how their data is used online. The company’s top-rated apps are used by more than 1,000,000 people every week. Visit Disconnect on the web at https://disconnect.me/.
About FirstMark Capital
Based in New York City, FirstMark Capital is an early-stage venture-capital firm investing in visionary entrepreneurs who are creating new markets with innovative technology solutions or fundamentally changing existing markets by applying a fresh approach or new business model. FirstMark partners early in a company’s lifecycle, offering deep industry insight, a broad network of relationships, and the operational expertise to build lasting businesses. Select historical investments include Riot Games (acquired by Tencent), Duck Creek Technologies (acquired by Accenture), Netgear (NASDAQ: NTGR), Boomi (acquired by Dell), StubHub (acquired by eBay), Netegrity (acquired by CA), OutlookSoft (acquired by SAP), and Navic Networks (acquired by Microsoft). Current investments include Pinterest, Knewton, Aereo, Tapad, SecondMarket, Shopify, and Lumosity. For more information, visit http://firstmarkcap.com/.