We started 2012 out with a bang, moving into new offices (stop by if you happen to be in the Moscone Center or Union Square area) and announcing our $15 million Series C funding led by Baseline Ventures and supported by existing investors Accel, DAG and Jafco.


This investment will allow us to build on the substantial momentum we achieved in 2011, as we continue to expand our privacy management solutions into new markets in 2012. In 2011 we enjoyed phenomenal growth on all fronts, with record sales, new product launches, and an employee headcount that nearly doubled.


We’ve got lots of new faces hard at work on new data privacy challenges and we look forward to bringing more innovative technologies and certifications to market in 2012. This past year has proven beyond a doubt that the demand for privacy management solutions is strong and all indications point toward even more demand in the years ahead.


This Saturday we celebrate Data Privacy Day, an international holiday to raise awareness and promote privacy education. When I reflect on the state of the internet today I am struck by the complexities of the online privacy and security ecosystem compared to ten years ago.


The proliferation of data collection channels and mechanisms – from iPhone apps to Flash cookies – has produced a fire hose stream of information that has given rise to “big data” and other data management challenges. Big data is fast becoming one of the most important assets to businesses for its ability to deliver optimized and personalized products, services and advertising. These data sets are so immense, and managed and touched by so many different parties, that they have created entirely new privacy management challenges on an international scale.


In addition to developing innovative technology solutions to help manage the emerging data privacy challenges, we are excited to announce an expansion of our industry leading policy team, adding Saira Nayak as Director of Regulatory Policy and Joanne Furtsch as Director of Product Policy. They will assist our teams in Washington, D.C., Europe, and around the world and help us keep our finger firmly on the fast-beating privacy pulse.


All of these positive developments have enabled TRUSTe to further extend our position as the #1 provider of privacy management solutions. This growth has also enabled Fran Maier (who has served most recently as company President in her 10 plus years at TRUSTe) to proceed with her plan to transition away from a day to day operating role so she can pursue multiple personal interests.


She tells me she will be writing a book, providing strategic guidance in her multiple board roles, and traveling the world in search of the perfect glass of wine!  While a bittersweet moment for TRUSTe and the privacy world, I’m thrilled that we all will continue to benefit from Fran’s leadership in her role as Chair of the TRUSTe Board as well as a strategic company advisor. In the latter role she will be continue to participate in key industry and company events.


In closing, we look forward to an exciting 2012 and I hope to see you at one of the 50+ privacy events we will be participating in / sponsoring this year.