MySocialCloud was still in relatively early stages last year when Stacey Ferreira, now 20, saw a tweet from investor and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, which read, somewhat cryptically: “Enjoy intimate cocktails with me in Miami on June 15th – $2,000 to charity,” and including an email address to contact for more details. It was the perfect chance to pitch her startup, she thought.
RT @richardbranson: Enjoy intimate cocktails with me in Miami on June 15th – $2,000 to charity.For details email: Community.investment …
— Virgin Unite (@VirginUnite) June 10, 2011
“At the time I was living in California with my brother in a two bedroom apartment that was probably only 750 square feet—and we had to rent out the other room because we couldn’t afford to live there by ourselves,” Ms. Ferreira explained. “My brother and I were on speakerphone and we were begging our parents to wire us the money to go to Miami,” she said, noting that they believed the chance to meet with Mr. Branson was “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Ms. Ferreira, and her brother Scott, now 21, started MySocialCloud when she was a senior in high school in their hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, and he was in his sophomore year at the University of Southern California. Mr. Ferreira’s computer had crashed during finals week, and he lost, among other things, the system he had set up to store all of his usernames and passwords. They set about coding up a site that could replace the Passwords.doc files and sticky notes most of us—come on, admit it—still rely on to remember our myriad online identities.
Mr. Branson apparently liked the idea. The siblings were the youngest guests at his party, and although their ages precluded them from joining the drinking, Ms. Ferreira explained, “we made sure to stay close to him, talk to him, and just learn as much as we could from him.” After their weekend in Miami the two keep in touch with Mr. Branson, and, a few months later, they became his youngest investments.
In August, Mr. Branson sent his friend, Jerry Murdock out to Los Angeles to check out the venture. “He grilled us,” said Ms. Ferreira, and ultimately both Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Branson invested, helping MySocialCloud raise a first seed round of close to $1 million.
Last week, MySocialCloud launched a redesign and opened the site up to allow anyone into the beta. The siblings picked a good time to relaunch. Last week hackers hit LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony, leaking more than 10 million passwords in all. The leaked passwords, of course, ranged from such inspired choices as ‘password1234’ to, perhaps just as predictably, selections like ‘unemployed’ and ‘cooldad.’ (You can check LeakedIn for yours.)
MySocialCloud also introduced a Google Chrome extension that will allow users to automatically log in to any website requiring a username and password simply by clicking a button at the top of their browser. You can sign up to use it now—both to store login information and randomly generate secure passwords.
While there are a number of competitors that provide similar services such as LastPass, 1Password, and Passpack, MySocialCloud has also caugh the attention of Jerry Murdock, the co-founder of Insight Venture Partners, and Alex Welch, the co-founder of Photobucket.
MySocialCloud will also curate a personal profile to share your Internet activities with others. “Since our website focuses on storing information and managing online life, we wanted each of our users to have a personalized profile to view all their online networks, profiles and bookmarks in one place, and also easily share those with people if they felt inclined to,” Ms. Ferreira explained.
The site is targeted at college students like her and her brother, she said, though both will be taking a leave of absence next year to focus on MySocialCloud—Mr. Ferreira from USC, where he is studying architecture and his sister from NYU, where she is majoring in music business with a minor in computer science.
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