Security Software Firm Avast Gets CVC Capital Investment, Now Valued At $1B

The rise in malware and online security threats continues to give a big boost to companies that are looking for ways to make the connected world a bit safer. Avast, one of the bigger PC and mobile security software firms that competes against the likes of Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee (Intel) for consumer and enterprise business, today announced a major investment: CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm, is putting in an investment of an unspecified amount that values Avast at $1 billion. It will be using the investment to continue growing its product base and also to further more U.S. expansion for the company originally founded in Prague.

“AVAST is the undisputed global leader in consumer PC antivirus and a pacesetter in mobile security – but we’re not yet number one in every market,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST, in a statement. “CVC gives us the resources to become the number one PC security provider in the US and Asia, and the clear market leader in mobile security.”

According to the latest figures from Opswat, which scans and tests networks, Avast is currently the number-two antivirus provider in the market, with a 15.9% share. Microsoft is in first place with a 23% share.

We are trying to find out the full amount of the investment and will update this post as we learn more. Reports of the investment have been circulating for about a week before today. (Update: Avast is not disclosing the exact amount invested.)

The investment comes on the heels of a $100 million round led by Summit Partners in 2010, and a spate of consolidation and investment in the security industry. Most recently, AirWatch was acquired by VMWare for $1.54 billion.

Avast is not exactly a startup: it has been around for 25 years already, originally starting in Prague and now co-headquartered in Redwood City, CA.

Avast says that its antivirus software — which is available both in free and paid versions — is installed by over 200 million users covering 40 languages. The PC security product alone covers 170 million devices, while its newer mobile business covers some 40 million Android devices. Other Avast products include SafeZone (for online transactions); avast! EasyPass (for password storage) and avast! BackUp (a cloud backup). avast! Secureline VPN secures any public WiFi and makes your browsing anonymous, and its Browser Cleanup deletes unwanted toolbars and plugins. The latest in this suite is GrimeFighter, a PC optimisation and clean-up utility to rid a device of the small bots that might slow it down.

Photo: Flickr

More to come.

via TechCrunch


Post a Comment