Removaly: What happened?
Mar 27, 2023
So… what happened?
Recently, many people have asked us about the disappearance of a competitor called Removaly (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30610674). Though they were our competition, we really admired their team and mission. The Removaly founders are awesome - super sharp folks who bootstrapped a service that was popular on Reddit and reliable for removals. So it’s been surprising they’ve been unable to share information about the future of their service and the status of their members’ data. This type of mystery is common when a tech company gets acquired - and at the end of 2022, Removaly was acquired by a large consumer tech company.
Because they haven’t publicly announced, we cannot say by who. But when a service that has a significant amount of data about you is acquired, it’s always nerve-racking. What happened to my information? Who has it now? One of our goals at Kanary is to be the most transparent service. So we wanted to share some details about what might have happened and your options.
Why people loved Removaly
Removaly was a data removal service that could help you remove your personal information from around 50 sites on the internet. They ran scans every day to ensure that your information was removed from these sites - that was a big selling point for people who were very concerned about public exposure of sensitive information. The service launched on Product Hunt with a 3.1/5 star rating (https://www.producthunt.com/products/removaly) and was popular on Reddit for being reliable and affordable. They launched with a strong SEO strategy to rank highly on google and win keywords. They wrote helpful content like “How to remove yourself from sites” and comparisons between competitors like “Removaly vs Deleteme”. An extra benefit people loved was their friendly and helpful support - most of the time from the founders themselves. At Kanary, our founders follow a similar approach to support and spend time every day listening to our customers.
While we cannot confirm the specifics of the acquisition, it is possible that Removaly was acquired for several million dollars based on industry averages for companies of that size. For 2 founders bootstrapping for less than 3 years… that’s a solid exit. It sucks that a small service gets swallowed up by a big player, but this is a great outcome for the privacy community and other builders in the space. The best case scenario: the acquirer will help Removaly scale far beyond what they could do solo. It’s encouraging to know there are opportunities for acquisition and demand for new products and ideas in privacy. But with any acquisition, the future quality and even existence of the product is in question. For example, Facebook or Google are famous for acquiring high potential startups, trying to integrate them into their company, then shutting them down when cultures don’t align or product revenues don’t meet benchmarks. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Discontinued_Google_acquisitions) The likely outcome here is Removaly will be rebranded under the big company, and they’ll re-launch that service.
Alternatives To Consider
If you're looking for alternatives to Removaly, there are several options to consider. Deleteme, Kanary, and Optery are all popular data removal services that are based in the United States and have never had affiliations with selling data or other data brokers. Each service has its pros and cons. Deleteme offers the best human-assisted service, but you pay thousands of dollars a year for the human service. https://joindeleteme.com/. Optery is a newer service that is still building its reputation, it is more affordable than DeleteMe but has struggled to report exposures accurately - finding noisy data that isn’t about you but claiming it is. https://www.optery.com/. Kanary is a popular service that offers a rich community of over 5,000 members and businesses. Kanary also offers a free service with DIY removals and is known for its reliable service and excellent customer support. Kanary covers the largest list of exposures of any competitor, and cover the full list for every member, no matter what tier you are on. (https://www.kanary.com/remove-from-sites)
Try Before You Buy
In conclusion, while it's unfortunate that Removaly has disappeared, there are still several alternatives available to people. We recommend trying Kanary and comparing it to others in the space. We offer 30-day money-back guarantee and a free tier to help you get started risk-free. We believe in trying before buying whenever possible. With the results you see, you can pick the service that best fits your needs and budget. At Kanary, we are committed to providing reliable data removal services and excellent customer support, and we hope to earn your trust as a customer.
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