WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Personal (www.personal.com), a digital vault and private network for people to store and manage their most important information and documents, announced today that celebrated investor Bill Miller of Legg Mason led a $4.5 million round in Personal as an individual investor and will be joining Personal’s board of directors.
Personal also announced today that prominent technology investor Esther Dyson and digital media executive Jonathan Miller had previously joined Personal’s board of directors.
Bill Miller has been a long-time leader in mutual fund investing, and is perhaps best known for being the only person to beat the S&P 500 for 15 years in a row. Last week, a Wall Street Journal survey reported that for four consecutive quarters in a row Bill Miller and his Legg Mason Opportunity Trust have had the best 12 months performance of any mutual fund. He also invests in private companies, notably CLEAR, the biometric secure identity management company known for speeding travelers through airport security.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Bill, Esther and Jon be part of Personal and our mission to empower people with the data they need to power their lives. Each brings a special and unique set of experiences and skills to the company at an important time as we manage acceleration and growth,” said Shane Green, Personal co-founder and CEO.
Esther Dyson is one of the most recognized angel investors and thinkers in technology today. She has focused on new business models and new markets, and does business as EDventure Holdings (www.edventure.com). Dyson serves on the boards of global marketing conglomerate WPP Group (www.wpp.com), personal genetics company 23andme.com, and Meetup Inc., among others.
Jonathan Miller has been a Personal investor and advisor for over two years. He was most recently chief digital officer of News Corporation, and previously served as CEO of AOL and President of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. He is currently a partner with media investor Shari Redstone in Advancit. Miller also serves on the boards of TripAdvisor (since its spinoff from Expedia) and Shutterstock, and was on the board of Tumblr until its acquisition by Yahoo.
Bill Miller, the chairman and chief investment officer of LMM LLC, said: “As a long-term investor, I have no doubt that Personal is building the most rational, sustainable model for the personal data ecosystem – one centered around the individual first and foremost. The fact that it is also so beneficial for use with trusted companies and apps – including improving their bottom lines, lowering their risks and enhancing their brands – really solidified my interest in investing.”
Esther Dyson said: “To me, Personal represents the sea change from business-in-charge to consumer-in-charge – but with a business model that works. It requires not just vision but also scale and execution – and the ability to show a solid value proposition to both sides of the balance of power. I’m excited to help Personal deliver on its promise.”
Jon Miller said: “Businesses, marketers and developers, especially those involved with digital media, are at a critical juncture where personal data is concerned. It’s one of their most vital assets, but current practices are not likely to be sustainable – and they are less compelling in any event than the promise of individuals bringing their own data to those experiences in a safe and convenient way. I am excited to help Personal go beyond being a productivity app into this new frontier of permission-based marketing and personalization.”
Personal’s board of directors also includes Don Rainey of Grotech Ventures, Eric Semler of TCS Capital Management, Tige Savage of Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures, Personal Co-Founder and CEO Shane Green, and Personal Co-Founder and COO Doug Wheeler. Personal has raised approximately $20 million total since its founding.
Personal (www.personal.com) gives individuals a digital vault for controlling and securely sharing their important data and files. Personal is available through subscription and companies and organizations that provide vaults to their customers and members, frequently prepopulated with information that is instantly useful and able to be shared privately. Built on a privacy- and security-by-design platform, Personal helps individuals to properly leverage their information so they can get the most value from it – all with the peace of mind that the information in their vault remains legally theirs, and it can't be shared without their permission. Personal is available on the web, iOS and Google Play. www.twitter.com/personal.