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Mailchimp And Express VPN Sold, The Latter To Former Malware Company

Two major takeover bids were accepted overnight, as both newsletter service Mailchimp and Express VPN will change hands.

British-Israeli digital security software provider Kape Technologies has secured VPN firm ExpressVPN for $USD936 million, in a play to become a “premium consumer privacy and security player.”

The acquisition will extend Kape’s reach from almost 3 million customers to over 6 million, with a global team of 720 workers.

“The ExpressVPN team is delighted to be joining the Kape Technologies family,” ExpressVPN co-founder Dan Pomerantz said in a press release.

“It was essential to us that anyone we teamed up with shared our strong fundamental commitment to user privacy, and Kape has demonstrated that in spades through its family of brands.”

Ido Erlichman, CEO, Kape Technologies said in a statement he admires the ExpressVPN team’s “relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation”, adding:

“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. Kape is now synonymous with taking control of your digital experience.”

Kape Technologies has a somewhat cloudy history, as what CNet referred to as “the notorious creator of some pernicious data-huffing ad-ware, Crossrider”, which, as it notes, was cofounded by an ex-Israeli surveillance agent, and a billionaire convicted of insider trading and named in the Panama Papers.

The irony of a company who once created malware that stole private data now selling security is rich.

Crossrider changed its name to Kape Technologies in 2018, a move CEO Ido Erlichman said was to leave behind the “strong association to the past activities of the company.”

Intuit, the global technology platform that makes TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, and Credit Karma, will acquire Mailchimp for $USD12 billion in cash and stock, a move the company sees will “accelerate two of its previously-shared strategic Big Bets: to become the centre of small business growth; and to disrupt the small business mid-market.”

Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit says of the deal: “We’re focused on powering prosperity around the world for consumers and small businesses. Together, Mailchimp and QuickBooks will help solve small and mid-market businesses’ biggest barriers to growth, getting and retaining customers.

“Expanding our platform to be at the centre of small and mid-market business growth helps them overcome their most important financial challenges. Adding Mailchimp furthers our vision to provide an end-to-end customer growth platform to help our customers grow and run their businesses, putting the power of data in their hands to thrive.”

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