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Growth investor Summit Partners takes $100m stake in AVAST Software

25 Aug 2010

Growth equity investor Summit Partners has invested $100m for a minority stake in antivirus specialist AVAST Software.

The company, whose flagship avast! antivirus software is used on one in five computers worldwide, pioneered a ‘freemium’ business model, combining a fully-functional free product with a premium one, allowing the product to spread through word of mouth, as customers moved to pick up the free version.

AVAST co-founder Pavel Baudis also attributes the company’s growth to the skyrocketing number and range of virus threats personal computer users face.

“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 Baudis.

Summit managing director Scott Collins is to join the AVAST Software board of directors following the close of the transaction.

Collins 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.”

Founded in 1984, Summit has raised more than $11bn in capital, and has invested in over 300 growth-stage companies. The firm recently took a bet on India, investing $30m in Krishidhan Seeds, a developer, producer and distributor of hybrid seeds for the farming industry.

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