||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (October 2012)|
|Key people||Auren Hoffman|
|Employees||11-50 (as of November 2, 2012)|
RapLeaf is a US-based marketing data and software company.
RapLeaf was founded in San Francisco by Auren Hoffman and Manish Shah in March 2005. In May 2006 the Founders Fund led a seed round of about $1 million, including angel investors such as Peter Thiel and Ron Conway. In June 2007 a second round included Founders Fund and Rembrandt Venture Partners. included Ron Conway.
The company's first product was a meta-reputation system that allows users to create reviews and ratings of consumer transactions, which they then contribute to multiple e-commerce websites. On January 26, 2007, Rapleaf released Upscoop, a service that allowed users to search for and manage their contacts by email address across multiple social networking sites.
Controversy and backlash
On July 10, 2008, Rapleaf changed its interface so that it no longer allows users to search people by email addresses. Instead, the service only allows a registered user to view their own reputation and the websites (social and business networking) to which their own e-mail address is registered. There was an immediate negative backlash by companies and individuals who had been using Rapleaf to both manage reputations and investigate the authenticity of people.
In October 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rapleaf had transmitted personally identifiable information, including Facebook and MySpace IDs. Rapleaf said it had inadvertently transmitted that info and had ceased the practice. On October 28, 2010, Facebook banned Rapleaf from scraping data on Facebook, and Rapleaf said it would delete the Facebook IDs it had collected.
A 2011 report said the company could tell the food preferences of employees of major companies.
In 2012, Rapleaf began selling segmented data tied to email addresses for marketers to personalize email communications. Around September 2012 the company moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Chicago, and Phil Davis became chief executive, replacing Hoffman.
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