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Graduate students Timo Ala-Kleemola and Sami Tolvanen met during their first day at university. As they worked and studied together, thoughts of founding their own company started to formulate.
"At that time, I think we had mainly bad ideas and very bad ideas," Timo recollects, "but finally, in October 2005 Sami sent me a long email which explained an idea about a distributed reputation management system. It was clear from the first moment that this was it."
Energized with a great idea, they started to develop the first version of WOT in early November 2005. Using their own money, the budding entrepreneurs bought used server components from eBay. At the same time, they started seeking funding from VCs and angel investors. It was a frustrating job trying to convince older, experienced business types that a Web 2.0 application could make a go of it.
"In 2000, the Internet bubble burst, and subsequently no one believed that Internet applications could be a business," said Timo.
"Maybe if it was mobile apps," Sami added, "but no one in Finland understood Web 2.0."
Meanwhile, a new competing software called SiteAdvisor was sold for millions of dollars.
In 2007, they got their first substantial business investment, so Timo and Sami were able to leave their day jobs to concentrate fully on developing the WOT system. Since then, the thriving WOT community has given reputation ratings for over 25 million sites, and has been recommended by PC World, The Kim Komando Show, PC Welt, CNET, and many others.
Thank you for your contribution. We use the money for continuing development of WOT, so that everyone on the Internet can surf safely.
The developers at WOT are working on making WOT available for Mozilla's mobile browser Fennec.
|User since||March 5, 2007|
|Number of add-ons developed||1 add-on|
|Average rating of developer's add-ons||Rated 4 out of 5 stars|