Symantec Stakes Claim in Brightmail

Symantec Corp. Monday announced it
took an $18 million equity stake in Brightmail Inc. to ramp up its
e-mail security offerings.

The deal marries Brightmail’s e-mail anti-virus software solution with
Symantec’s comprehensive virus library.

The investment, part of Brightmail’s overall $35 million second-round
pre-initial public offering financing, gives Symantec a seat on the board
of directors and 11 percent equity stake.

Dana Siebert, Symantec service provider solutions division executive vice
president and general manager, said the investment allows the anti-virus
company to offer a more robust enterprise-level e-mail filtering solution.

“Symantec’s $18-million investment is strong evidence of our confidence in
Brightmail and the importance of e-mail security,” Siebert
said. “Brightmail and Symantec are already providing some of the world’s
largest service providers with an integrated anti-virus and anti-spam
solution and anticipate opportunities to integrate our content filtering
solutions as well.”

After posting revenue gains of $191.4 last fiscal quarter, its sixth
straight consecutive quarter in the black, Symantec is looking to gain more
corporate acceptance in the marketplace.

With Brightmail’s ties to companies like AT&T
Worldnet
, EarthLink Inc.,
and Juno
Online Services Inc.
, Symantec gains a solid grip
on supplying e-mail security services to Internet and applications service
providers.

John Thompson, Symantec chairman, president and chief executive officer,
said service providers would benefit from its partnership with Brightmail,
which commenced in April.

“Symantec is integrating its award-winning content-security technology into
the server-side infrastructure to ensure a base-level of security for all
Internet users,” Thompson said.

“Partnering with Brightmail to deliver an integrated solution enables ISPs
and ASPs to easily extend their e-mail infrastructure to include anti-virus
as an added benefit for their subscribers and further protect them from
malicious activity.”

According to a Gartner Group
Inc.
report, commissioned by Brightmail, service providers that
enhance e-mail security offerings stand a better chance of decreasing
customer churn and increasing subscriber loyalty.

The June 1999 report indicated that the longer customers remain with an
ISP, the more spam, or unsolicited commerce e-mail, the customer is likely
to receive. The report concluded that service providers that institute spam
filtering options for subscribers can combat losing customers to spam.

More than half of the customer sampled in the report indicated that they
had switched ISPs in the past. Not all of this disloyal behavior was
attributable to the influence of excessive spamming. But for 7 percent of
customers surveyed, spam was the main reason for switching service providers.

News Around the Web