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Israeli cybersecurity firm buys ExpressVPN for close to $1b

Kape Technologies has been acquiring a number of companies in the VPN and data security space in recent years; this deal is one of the biggest buys by an Israeli company

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

Illustrative: A secure laptop. (Anyaberkut, iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative: A secure laptop. (Anyaberkut, iStock by Getty Images)

Israeli cybersecurity firm Kape Technologies announced on Monday that it was acquiring leading virtual private network provider (VPN) ExpressVPN for $936 million, in one of the biggest buys of a foreign outfit for an Israeli company to date.

Founded in 2010, Kape developed a range of privacy and security products for personal data protection and currently serves over 2.5 million paying subscribers worldwide. The company went public in 2014 on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM section that caters to small and medium-size growth companies with more relaxed regulations.

VPNs allow users to browse the internet privately by creating a private network from public internet connections, and secures user information and identities. The global VPN market was estimated at $35.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $92.4 billion by 2026, according to a study published this year by market research publisher Global Industry Analysts.

Kape has made a number of major acquisitions in the VPN and data security space in recent years including privacy and security solutions provider GhostVPN in 2017, Zenmate, another VPN provider, in 2018, and most recently Webselenese, an Israeli provider of privacy and security-related news and product information, six months ago.

Kape said the acquisition of ExpressVPN will increase its paid subscriber base to over six million, and “create a tier-one digital privacy and security player,” the company indicated on Monday in a statement.

ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and became one of the largest providers of consumer privacy and security services. The company has servers across 94 countries and has won awards for its software for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.

“We’ve admired the ExpressVPN team’s relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation and are excited to welcome them to Kape,” said Ido Erlichman, CEO of Kape Technologies, in a company statement. “With ExpressVPN now part of the Kape family of world-leading privacy and security brands—together, we have the vision, talent, and resources to take the industry to the next level.

“Controlling one’s digital presence is at the forefront of every tech consumer’s mind now, and Kape is more committed than ever to innovating and delivering the tools internet users need to protect their data and rights,” he added.

Dan Pomerantz, co-founder and co-CEO of ExpressVPN said the firm will now have access to more capital and resources “to accelerate our product development, deliver even more innovation to our users, and protect them from a wider range of threats.”

Kape has some 350 employees in eight offices across the world including Tel Aviv, Seattle, Berlin, Paris, and London.

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