NordVPN raises its first money, $100M at a $1.6B valuation

NordVPN raises its first money.

NordVPN raises its first money.


VPN usage has surged in the last several years, with growing concerns over data privacy and security — and sometimes completely different motivations like people wanting to access content otherwise blocked in their regions — driving an estimated 30% of all internet consumers globally to use a VPN at some point this year. Now Nord Security, the startup behind one of the bigger paid VPN providers, NordVPN, is announcing significant funding at a “unicorn” valuation to build out both its consumer and enterprise business lines to capitalize on that growth.

The company has raised $100 million in a round of funding led by Novator — the European firm that’s backed Deliveroo, Stripe and Tier, among others — with Burda Principal Investments and General Catalyst, and individuals including Ilkka Paananen of Supercell, Miki Kuusi of Wolt and Matt Mullenweg of Automattic also participating. This round values the startup at $1.6 billion.


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What’s notable here is that Vilnius, Lithuania-based Nord has been bootstrapped for the last 10 years (it was founded in 2012), a state that doesn’t seem to have held back its growth. NordVPN and the other security and identity management products that Nord sells — they include the NordPass password manager, NordLocker for cloud sync and storage, NordLayer for network access for businesses and developer tools to build custom VPNs — have collectively grown to 15 million users over the years.

Alongside its organic expansion, it has also been expanding via M&A: in February Nord announced a merger with Surfshark, another security company with Lithuanian roots (and more specifically, roots to the same business and incubator where Nord Security was also hatched, Tesonet). (Lithuania is also producing some interesting companies not in the business of security and networking, such as the used-clothing marketplace Vinted, which was the country’s first startup to reach a $1 billion valuation.)

So why raise now? Tom Okman, the co-CEO and co-founder with Eimantas Sabaliauskas, told TechCrunch that it made the decision to finally bite the funding bullet to keep up with the pace of the times, while also continuing to stay on course with its mission, which might best be summarized as embracing the ideals of the open internet, but to do so in a way that protects users from those that might exploit that with more malicious intent.

FULL STORY


NordVPN raises its first money.

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