Stagwell acquires ReputationDefender

The reputation management tool is Stagwell's 17th investment.

WASHINGTON: Stagwell Group’s fund, Stagwell Media, has acquired online reputation management tool ReputationDefender.

ReputationDefender, previously owned by Reputation.com, will continue to operate under its brand; CEO Rich Matta will continue to lead the company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"It’s an interesting opportunity that is at the heart of what’s becoming more important to people these days: that their reputation is defended online," said Mark Penn, managing partner of Stagwell Group. "With so much trolling, smearing, and fake news online, we thought it fit quite well both with the other kinds of companies we have and to expand into this area."

The company will join Stagwell’s investment portfolio, which includes marketing, research, digital, and communications firms. Reputation.com will continue to focus on its other SaaS platforms that include business listings, online review management, surveys, operational analytics, and social media management, Stagwell said in a statement.

ReputationDefender was founded in 2006 and offers online reputation and privacy tools for individuals and small businesses.

In 2017, Stagwell acquired or invested in eight companies, including Harris Poll, CAA Marketing, MMI Agency, Scout, Wolfgang, Forward3D Group, Nielsen Mobile Insights, and Targeted Victory. Stagwell has invested in 17 companies to date.

Launched in 2015 by former Microsoft and Burson-Marsteller executive Mark Penn, Stagwell also acquired SKDK and took a minority investment in Finn Partners.

Asked what’s next for Stagwell, Penn said it is eyeing investments outside the U.S., particularly in Europe.

"We think there's growth for markets here and in Europe, so expect we will be looking to do acquisitions in that region," he said.

This story was updated on April 6 with comment from Penn.

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