At Avast, our mission is to take care of your safety and security online, because you have better things to do. We protect over 400 million people from threats on the internet with one of the most advanced threat detection networks in the world.
We are very fortunate to have a new headquarters in beautiful Prague - designed with a gym, recording room, hammocks and a cafeteria manned by celebrity chefs. It operates as the center of a worldwide team of Avast employees in Canada, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Israel, United States, Germany, Norway and Serbia.
Avast’s roots go back to 1988, when Czech researchers Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš encountered the ViennaVirus and began their quest to save the world’s computers from it and others like it. In 2016, we acquired AVG Technologies, and now Avast has over 1,000 professionals around the world, working to outsmart those who try to do harm to people on the internet.
In September of 2016, Avast acquired AVG Technologies. For nearly 30 years, AVG and Avast have grown up side by side, providing great security products to hundreds of millions of users around the world for free. We continue to offer and support both the AVG and Avast branded products, and have transformed into a full service security company with a significant SMB Business, a Mobile Enterprise business and the largest consumer installed base in the world.
A year of more firsts. In 2015, Avast launches a new, free Business security solution, which makes securing small and medium businesses easy. In addition, Avast acquires Remotium for protecting large business too - creating Avast Mobile Virtual Platform. The perfect way to control and secure large amounts of business data. The mobile portfolio continues to expand with the launch of WiFi Finder, an app designed to take users to the fastest, most secure networks around. Avast also acquires PC magazine Editor’s Choice award, rating ‘excellent’ for another year running. Finally, Avast’s growth means moving to a larger, Silicon Valley inspired office space with cutting edge tech, entertainment and dining facilities.
Going from strength to strength, Avast adds 30 million new users to reach a total of more than 230 million active users worldwide. The company also welcomes a new investor, CVC Capital Partners, which values Avast at 1 billion USD; on the mobile front, Avast buys startup Inmite and adds 40 mobile developers to its mobile business. Meanwhile, Avast Mobile Security reaches 100 million downloads faster than any mobile security app in Google Play history, and AV-Comparatives ranks Avast as the most popular mobile security provider in North America, South America, and Europe, and third in Asia. New product launches: Avast 2015, with four new features (Home Network Security, Secure DNS, HTTPS Scanning, and Smart Scan), Avast SecureLine VPN for Android and iOS, Avast GrimeFighter, and Avast Ransomware Removal. Avast reaches 500 employees and opens new offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
On its 25th anniversary, Avast antivirus claims an industry record by protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, and Android devices worldwide – and is ranked the most-downloaded product on several major global software portals. As well, AVAST Software (the company) acquires the German company secure.me and USA-based startup Jumpshot, gets awarded the Czech Republic’s “Best Employer 2013” in the category of large companies, and finishes the year as the most-profitable IT company in its home country, with just over 350 employees. New product launches: Avast 2014 series, with our new Artificial-Intelligence-driven DynaGen technology; Avast SecureLine VPN (a virtual private network for encrypting and anonymizing web activity); and Avast GrimeFighter (for optimizing/speeding up PC functionality).
Avast finishes the year actively protecting over 170 million PCs, Macs, and Android devices, with just over 200 employees. Avast Free Mobile Security reaches best-rated security app in Google Play, and Avast Free Antivirus achieves the top-downloaded software spot on Download.com. New product launches: Avast Free Mac Security; Avast 7.0 series, with new innovations that include Remote Assistance (for giving/getting help to/from a friend with Avast), the Avast Account portal (for overseeing all Avast protected devices), and cloud-based FileRep (a file reputation detection) and streaming, real-time virus database updates.
By midyear, Avast has more than 135 million active users and over 165 million user registrations – all with just over 150 employees. New product launches: Avast Business Protection line (with a simplified central administration console); Avast 6.0 series, with new innovations that include: WebRep™ (a website reputation tool), SafeZone (a clean-desktop option for added safety with sensitive online transactions), and AutoSandbox™ (the first automatic virtualization feature offered within a free antivirus).
Summit Partners invests $100 million for a minority share of the company, confirming the unique position of Avast in the global marketplace. Says Han Sikkens, a Principal in Summit Partners, "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." ALWIL Software changes its name to AVAST Software, to more closely align the company with the brand, and Avast reaches 130 million registered users. New product launches: Avast 5.0 series, with a new antivirus engine and an optional Silent Firewall and virtualization Sandbox.
To strengthen the team, ALWIL hires Vincent Steckler (formerly of Symantec) as CEO. The Avast registered-user base jumps from 68 million to over 100 million, and the company reaches 100 employees. New product launch: the 5.0 series of Avast Free Antivirus, Avast Pro Antivirus, and Avast Internet Security.
ALWIL puts major focus on acquiring a multinational sales and support team and localizing Avast antivirus and avast.com into more languages. The company reaches 50 million registered users and 60 employees. New product launch: Avast 4.8.
The company reaches 40 million registered Avast users with only 38 employees, for a ratio of one million users per employee, which the company will maintain over the coming years. ALWIL Software transforms into a joint stock company. New product launches: Avast Mac Edition and Avast Windows Home Server Edition.
The Avast user base doubles twice, first to 10 million and then to 20 million by year's end, in large part due to the availability of more language versions and a number of industry awards for quality. Avast sweeps the SC Awards categories with Best Antivirus, as well as Anti-Malware (European) and Readers' Choice (USA). New product launch: Avast Linux Home Edition.
As a great way for Avast to reach new users at a time when the internet does not have such high penetration, ALWIL begins cooperation with SanDisk. Thanks to this partnership, Avast needs language localization for all SanDisk markets. Thus, ALWIL hires the first people for in-house localization and support – this is the first step toward Avast becoming an international success in terms of supported languages. New product launches: Avast U3 Edition (for SanDisk) and Avast 4.6.
Only 30 months after its first user registration, the free version of Avast reaches one million users. Until this time, it remains uncertain as to whether giving for free what others sell will work, but reaching one million users confirms a successful increase in visibility for the company. ALWIL implements an international reseller channel for its paid-for security solutions. New product launches: Avast Linux version, Avast 4.5 Home/Professional edition, Avast Distributed Network Manager (ADNM), and Avast BART CD 2.0.
The growing free Avast user base generates a need to offer other paid-for solutions effectively online. Thus, ALWIL turns to Digital River's online sales distribution share-it! New product launches: Avast Bootable Antivirus & Recovery Tool (BART) CD and the (free) Avast 4 Home Edition (under Ondrej Vlček's R&D supervision).
Co-founder Eduard Kučera implements an innovative user-community growth strategy based on the principle that all computer users deserve protection from harmful threats, and that computer safety should not be a luxury some cannot afford. Thus, on June 1, ALWIL Software launches a free antivirus solution for home (non-commercial) use. Six months later (January, 2002), a new registration system sees the very first user registration of free Avast antivirus Home Edition.
ALWIL Software provides the Avast antivirus engine to McAfee, which licenses it for use in its own line of McAfee antivirus products – proving the effectiveness of Avast antivirus technologies with the "Powered by Avast engine" logo on the McAfee VirusScan boxes. Also, ALWIL hires its first tech-support specialist, Pavel Mourek.
Avast antivirus is one of the first three antivirus programs globally to win Virus Bulletin's VB100 awards in all testing categories. Virus Bulletin magazine is highly recognized as a leading independent authority on computer security, and even a single VB100 award is difficult to attain.
A young Ondrej Vlček (current Avast CTO) joins ALWIL while completing his university studies. He writes the first antivirus program for Windows 95.
Founders Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera, free from the socioeconomic constraints of the former regime, finally transform ALWIL Software from a 'cooperative' into a joint partnership 'company'.
The Velvet Revolution and new Czechoslovak independence from the Soviet Union bring economic freedom to business endeavors. In the preceding years, organizations were not allowed to have 'company' status and had to remain only a 'cooperative'.
Pavel Baudiš, then a researcher at Prague's Mathematical Machines Research Institute, encounters a sample of the Vienna Virus and, intrigued by it, writes a program able to remove it. He then shows it to colleague Eduard Kučera and, together, they start ALWIL Software cooperative, which releases the first Avast antivirus. Due to the oppressive regime, they are unable to form a 'company' at this time.
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