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News

Growth Equity Investor Sinks $100 Million Into Avast

Avast Software : 24 August, 2010  (Company News)
Anti-virus software provider prepares for significant growth after receiving capital injection from Summit Partners
Avast Software has announced that growth equity investor Summit Partners has invested $100 million for a minority stake in the company.

"Summit Partners' investment is a vote of confidence in our disruptive 'freemium' business model, which combines a full-fledged free product with a premium one," said Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast Software. "This approach is already upsetting the traditional antivirus market. Instead of paying for advertising or installation on new computers, Avast continues to experience dramatic growth as fans of avast! recommend our products to their friends. Word-of-mouth from our large and loyal satisfied customer base is certainly the most effective—and low-cost—form of advertising."

avast! antivirus now protects one out of every five computers around the world from malware. Its award-winning protection is based on the CommunityIQ system of user-submitted data on suspected viruses and infected websites. Independent testing confirms that avast! Free Antivirus protection meets or exceeds the performance of most paid products.

"'Freemium' is the wave of the future," added Mr. Steckler. "Together with Summit Partners, we will continue our strategy of providing a quality, free antivirus solution to the widest possible audience. We have no plans to change our approach and conform to the classic retail positioning model."

The cofounders of Avast Software, Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis, have seen the number of virus threats and the scope of their business grow dramatically in the past two decades. "After writing a program to remove the Vienna virus back in 1988, it was about six months before I saw another virus. Now our Virus Lab adds 3,000 new virus samples a day to its database," said Mr Baudis, Avast Software virus guru.

"When we first launched free distribution of avast! antivirus in the early 2000s, we gave ourselves room to grow—but never dreamed that the product would gain such global popularity," said Mr Kucera, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Scott Collins, a Managing Director of Summit Partners who will join the Avast Software Board of Directors, said, "Under the direction of its CEO Vince Steckler, and its cofounders, Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera, Avast Software has carved a unique position in the global marketplace for security software. We are pleased to invest in Avast and look forward to working closely with Vince and the entire management team to support the company's continued growth."

Han Sikkens, a Principal in Summit Partners' London office, added, "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".
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