There’s a little social network service startup in Chicago that’s targeting college students, already signing partnerships and channel partners, and quickly approaching 50,000 users — and they are seeking $500,000 in angel funding. Priyanshu Harshavat and his co-founder are working out of Chicago and traveling around the country getting students to use his product, Socioclean, currently a free service that “cleanses” a user’s social networking activity, such as being the author of or associated with questionable content that a potential employer may see.
If it sounds like Reputation.com for social, well, it is. I spoke with Harshavat by phone and he sees Socioclean as very complementary to the larger reputation company. I was most surprised to hear how many active users he has, almost 50,000, and that’s done through channel partnerships and organic growth. He, of course, wants to run ad experiments on Facebook which would undoubtedly increase his user base, and in addition to booking deals with the career offices of universities (three in the book already, and three more in the pipeline), they are working on different channel partners where younger folks need to demonstrate a cleaner look, such as credit reporting agencies, dating sites, and insurance companies, among others. They are also beginning to experiment with a freemium or tiered pricing model, but for now, they are focused on getting more and more college kids using their product.
Harshavat will be visiting Silicon Valley in early November ’11 to do some media work, talk to universities, and meet angel investors. As this service grows, it may be a fit for Reputation.com and, therefore, while not a huge business in and of itself, could be a strategic opportunity for investor and acquirer alike.