Sells ReputationDefender to the Stagwell Group

The Stagwell Group, which invests in marketing services companies, today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LLC, has acquired ReputationDefender®, a global leader in Online Reputation Management and digital privacy for individuals and small businesses, from Inc.

ReputationDefender gives individuals and small businesses the power to control their digital privacy and reputation. The company has pioneered solutions that build a positive and accurate online presence for clients and remove unwanted personal information from the Internet. As the first and largest provider in its field, ReputationDefender has served hundreds of thousands of clients around the world from its offices in Redwood City, California, Tempe, Arizona, and Liverpool, England.

The sale provides significant synergy for ReputationDefender with the digital marketing and PR firms in The Stagwell Group’s portfolio, and enables former parent company to focus exclusively on its array of SaaS applications for enterprise clients, which include business listings, online review management, surveys, operational analytics, social media management, and a broad array of managed services. The new entity will continue doing business as ReputationDefender, enabling a seamless transition for existing customers and partners. ReputationDefender’s CEO, Rich Matta, will continue to lead the business into its next chapter under The Stagwell Group.

“ReputationDefender is a key player in an important space that has become even more important given concerns over social media and privacy evident today,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group. “With support from the best-in-class digital marketing agencies and PR firms in our portfolio, we believe Stagwell can help accelerate ReputationDefender’s growth and reaffirm its commitment to online accuracy and privacy.”

ReputationDefender CEO Rich Matta said, “I couldn’t be happier for our customers and employees. Mark Penn shares an incredible vision for our business. Even more importantly, he’s assembled a family of companies and capabilities at Stagwell that are very complementary to ours – they’ll help us access our market in ways that weren’t possible before.” Matta continued, “Under Stagwell’s umbrella, we’ll also be able to double-down on the people and technology investments that have been delivering results for our customers and made us the market leader.”

Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of, said, “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the business that I founded over a decade ago grow into two thriving companies that address distinct types of customers and needs across the spectrum of Online Reputation Management. I look forward to seeing both companies continue to help their customers thrive.”

This is the Stagwell Group’s 17th investment. Other companies in the portfolio include digital marketing agency Forward 3D Group, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader Harris Insights & Analytics, performance marketing firm PMX Agency, creative digital leader Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, entertainment research innovator National Research Group (NRG), public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang and technology innovator Stagwell Technologies.

Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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