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(left) and (right) in 2016 with their spouses, who run the Avast Foundation for Avast is a Czech company headquartered in,. Avast has more than 400 million users and the largest market share among vendors worldwide. The company has more than 1,600 employees across its headquarters in the Czech Republic and offices in Europe, North America and Asia. Avast was founded by and in 1988 as a and has been a company since 2010. Avast is at the top of the antivirus market share with 20.5%, as of June 2017.
In July 2016, Avast acquired competitor for $1.3 billion, at the time AVG was the third-ranked product. Contents • • • • • • History [ ] Avast was founded by and in 1988. The founders met each other at the Research Institute for Mathematical Machines in Czechoslovakia. They studied math and computer science, because the Czech Republic would require them to join the communist party to study physics. At the Institute, Pavel Baudiš discovered the Vienna virus on a floppy disk and developed the first program to remove it. Afterwards, he asked Eduard Kucera to join him in cofounding Avast as a cooperative. The cooperative was originally called Alwil and only the software was named Avast.
The cooperative was changed to a joint partnership in 1991, two years after the caused a regime change in Czechoslovakia. The new regime severed ties with the Soviet Union and reverted the countries economic system to a. In 1995, Avast employee Ondřej Vlček wrote the first antivirus program for the Windows 95 operating system. In the 1990s security researchers at the Virus Bulletin, an IT security testing organization, gave the Avast an award in every category tested, increasing the popularity of the software.
However, by the late 1990s, the company was struggling financially. Alwil rebuffed acquisition offers by, who was licensing the Avast antivirus engine.
By 2001, Alwil was experiencing financial difficulties, when it converted to a freemium model, offering a base Avast software product at no cost. As a result of the freemium model, the number of users of the software grew to one million by 2004 and 20 million by 2006.
Former Symantec executive Vince Steckler was appointed CEO of Avast in 2009. In 2010, Alwil changed its name to Avast, adopting the name of the software, and raised $100 million in venture capital investments. The following December, Avast filed for an, but withdrew its application the following July, citing changes in market conditions. In 2012, Avast fired its outsourced tech support service iYogi, after it was discovered that iYogi was using misleading sales tactics to persuade customers to buy unnecessary services. By 2013, Avast had 200 million users in 38 countries and had been translated into 43 languages. At the time, the company had 350 employees.
In 2014, CVC Capital bought an interest in Avast for an undisclosed sum. The purchase valued Avast at $1 billion. Later that year, Avast acquired mobile app developer Inmite in order to build Avast's mobile apps. Additionally, in 2014 Avast's online support forum was compromised, exposing 400,000 names, passwords, and email addresses. By 2015, Avast had the largest share of the market for antivirus software.
In July 2016, Avast reached an agreement to buy AVG for $1.3 billion. AVG was a large IT security company that sold software for desktops and mobile devices. In July 2017, Avast acquired UK-based for an undisclosed sum. Piriform was the developer of. Shortly afterwards it was disclosed that someone may have created a malicous version of CCleaner with a backdoor for hackers. Avast had its on the London Stock Exchange in May 2018, which valued it at £2.4bn and was one of the UK’s biggest technology listings.
Products [ ]. See also: Avast develops and markets business and consumer IT security products for servers, desktops, and mobile devices. The company sells both the Avast product line and the acquired AVG-branded products.
As of late 2017, the company had merged the AVG and Avast business product lines and were working to integrate the corporate departments from both companies. Additionally, Avast has developed utility software products to improve battery life on mobile devices, cleanup unnecessary files on a hard drive, find secure wireless networks or create a VPN connection to the internet.
Avast and AVG consumer security software are sold on a model, where basic security features are free, but more advanced features require purchasing a premium version. The free version is also supported by ads. Additionally, all Avast users provide data about their PC or mobile device to Avast, which is used to identify new security threats. Antivirus scanning, browser cleanup, a secure browser, password management, and network security features are provided for free, while firewall, anti-spam, and online banking features have to be purchased.