Is Kape’s Acquisition of ExpressVPN Worrying?
Kape Technologies PLC, a company that changed its name from Crossrider to distance itself from its troubled past, acquired the popular ExpressVPN VPN service. Express VPN is Kape’s fourth acquisition in the VPN niche, having acquired CyberGhost VPN, Zenmate, and Private Internet Access in recent years.
Our review of ExpressVPN dates back to July 2021. It was a private company based in the British Virgin Islands that created its own Lightway protocol that it has full control over. Most of the features are similar to other VPN services: ExpressVPN supports desktop and mobile apps, runs servers in 94 countries, doesn’t restrict bandwidth, allows P2P, and limits logging for technical reasons.
Performance was good during testing and unlocking streaming services worked equally well. The two downsides to ExpressVPN were its high price and the lack of advanced features, such as malware-blocking capabilities or options to chain VPN connections.
ExpressVPN Announced its acquisition on the company’s official blog.
Today, we are making our biggest move to improve our ability to advance digital rights yet: we announce our plan to join forces with Kape Technologies, a London Stock Exchange listed company, to form the clear global leader in digital privacy. . With your support and resources, we can innovate faster and protect you against a broader range of threats. Together, we will advance the state of privacy technology, keeping you firmly in control of your digital experience even as new threats and challenges emerge.
ExpressVPN is still a separate service according to the announcement. In fact, everything will remain as it is for the subscribers of the service.
ExpressVPN will only continue to get better: our award-winning speed and reliability, premium global server network and bandwidth, 24/7 live chat, BVI jurisdiction, no connection or activity logs policy, independent third-party audits, and more.
Kape Technologies paid US $ 936 million for ExpressVPN, making it the largest deal on record in the VPN industry. For comparison, Kape acquired Private Internet Access for one-tenth of the sum two years ago: $ 95.5 million.
TechRadar reports that the acquisition lifted the veil behind ExpressVPN’s business figures. The company has more than three million subscribers and generated “revenue of approximately $ 279.4 million in 2020, 37% more than in 2019.”
Kape Technologies, on the other hand, reported 2.52 million subscribers to its offerings with revenue of $ 122.2 million in 2020.
Matter of concern?
The lucrative VPN industry is in a consolidation phase. Kape acquired its fourth VPN provider, making it one of the largest VPN providers, if not the largest, with a subscription-based model.
The company has a checkered past. Formerly called Crossrider, it had a bad reputation for profiting from potentially unwanted software offerings, and security companies such as Malwarebytes classified Crossrider products as adware. The company’s founder was a former Israeli agent reportedly.
It’s unclear how much influence Kape Technologies has over ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or its other acquisitions. All claim that they act largely independently of the parent company.
The past activities of companies are cause for concern. If you ignore that for a moment, the question still remains of whether consolidation is good for the industry and users around the world. Larger companies have more resources and these could be used to improve standards and functionality, but they can also be used to increase prices and dominate niches.
Now you: What is your opinion on the acquisition?