Posted by Virus Bulletin on Aug 24, 2010
Growth equity firm invests in Czech firm
Avast Software, the Czech anti-malware firm famous for its free avast! software, has announced that growth equity investor Summit Partners has invested $100 million for a minority stake in the company.
The Czech security company has been in business since 1991, recently changing its name from Alwil Software to the more instantly recognisable brand Avast Software, matching the company name to its best known software offering.
Somewhat unusually for the anti-malware industry, the company's business model is based on providing a free-of-charge home-user product alongside a paid premium product, the idea being that satisfied users of the free product effectively market and advertise the premium product by recommending it to friends and colleagues. The business model, dubbed 'freemium', seems to have worked well for the company, with avast! estimated to be installed on one in five machines around the world.
Han Sikkens, a Principal in Summit Partners' London office, said "For 26 years, Summit Partners has been investing in profitable, innovative leaders in the security software industry, and it is rare to find a company such as Avast that redefines how an industry does business. We are very excited about the growth prospects of this exceptional company."