[VPNPro] Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies

Industry news items concerning VPNs, darknets, crypto, surveillance and secure computing.
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[VPNPro] Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies

Post by parityboy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:11 am

On the surface, it may seem that the VPN market is teeming with various companies competing for a piece of the growing consumer VPN pie.

However, when we began to look further into the VPNs and the companies that own them, we noticed something interesting: a lot of these products are owned by the same company. With our interests piqued, we decided to dig deeper to see just how many VPN products are owned or operated by which companies.

The number may surprise you:

Our research shows that at least 97 VPN products are owned or operated by only 23 companies.

This includes both cross-platform and mobile-only VPN products. It also includes direct subsidiaries or products/brands, as well as white label services. This represents a much bigger number than was previously reported in other research.

For our analysis, we only included parent companies that own or operate more than one VPN product.

You can find our infographic that summarizes our research here.

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Re: [VPNPro] Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies

Post by Main Sequence » Fri Dec 09, 2022 11:37 pm

In the two years since the original post was written, things have gotten even worse:

3 companies control many big-name VPNs: What you need to know

As VPNs continue to consolidate, it's getting harder to tell who controls your privacy.
Attila Tomaschek
Feb. 5, 2022 4:00 a.m. PT
4 min read

https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and- ... d-to-know/

Kape Technologies Plc (Formerly Crossrider Plc)

Kape Technologies owns at least four noteworthy VPNs, the biggest being its most recent acquisition, ExpressVPN. The company adopted its current name in 2018 partly to distance itself from its troubling past: It produced the Crossrider adware that allowed third parties to manipulate internet users' browser traffic.

CyberGhost VPN: Acquired in March 2017 for about $10 million (9.1 million euros, acquired under Crossrider name). Read CNET's CyberGhost review.
ZenMate VPN: Acquired in October 2018 for about $5.5 million.
Private Internet Access: Acquired in November 2019 for $127.6 million.
ExpressVPN: Acquired in September 2021 for $936 million (the deal closed in Dec. 2021). Read CNET's ExpressVPN review.Ziff Davis (Formerly J2 Global, Inc.)

Ziff Davis, formerly J2 Global, acquired IPVanish, StrongVPN and Encrypt.me from Stackpath in April 2019 for an undisclosed amount.

IPVanish: Read CNET's IPVanish review.
Strong VPN: Encrypt.me (which acquired Buffered VPN in November 2019) has merged with StrongVPN, along with ibVPN and SaferVPN.

Other notable holdings: Ziff Davis also owns a wide variety of technology sites (Ookla, Down Detector, Encrypt.me) and media outlets, including Mashable, IGN and PCMag.com. Note that despite the legacy branding, ZDNet hasn't been part of the Ziff Davis corporate family since CNET completed its acquisition of the brand back in 2002.

Nord Security (Tesonet)

Nord Security is the parent company behind various cybersecurity tools, including NordVPN and now Atlas VPN as well as Surfshark. Tesonet, meanwhile, is the Lithuanian IT business incubator that helped NordVPN and Surfshark get off the ground in their early days. Lithuanian entrepreneur Tom Okman is the co-founder of both Nord Security and Tesonet. Nord tells CNET that the Nord Security team has always operated independently of Tesonet. Nevertheless, the management overlap between the two companies is notable.

NordVPN: Read CNET's NordVPN review.
Atlas VPN: Acquired in October 2021 for an undisclosed amount.
Surfshark: Merged in February 2022 (details of the agreement not disclosed). Read CNET's Surfshark review.

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