Kape, owner of CyberGhost and Zenmate, revealed today that it will be welcoming rival Private Internet Access (PIA) to its suite of VPN services, in a deal reportedly worth $128 million.
The cybersecurity company, whose majority stakeholder is Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, will buy PIA’s parent company London Trust Media, Inc. (LTMI), doubling the size of its subscriber base to two million users.
In a banner on its website, Kape says that it “is excited to join hands with Private Internet Access to create a private and secure online experience for all.”
Colorado, US-based LTMI also announced the new partnership on its website, saying: “We are thrilled to join hands with Kape in creating the first truly global privacy company, owned by the public.”
Kape started life as Crossrider, an advertising technology company specializing in “improving return on investment for advertisers and better monetization for publishers through the analysis of big data.”
The company then turned its attention to the digital privacy sector in March 2017 when it acquired CyberGhost for €9.2 million (~$10.2 million).
Crossrider continued down the path of cybersecurity with its acquisition of Zenmate in October 2018. This happened soon after changing its name to Kape to reflect “the transformation of its operations and the shift in strategic focus that has taken place over the last 18 months.”
The company now also owns malware protection software Intego and performance tools DriverFix and Restoro.
As a result of the acquisition, Teddy Sagi’s 72% stake in Kape will be diluted to 56% once the takeover is complete. Sagi is also the founder of gambling software company Playtech.
It’s currently unclear how the buyout will affect Private Internet Access’ software, logging policy, and jurisdiction.
However, several months after its acquisition Zenmate released a new generation of apps that look very similar to CyberGhost’s, which may be an indication of PIA’s future direction.
Kape is not the only company to acquire a VPN brand; J2 Global has bought several VPN services including Encrypt.me, IPVanish, StrongVPN, and most recently SaferVPN through its parent company NetProtect.