Anti-Virus Software Inside Intel

Intel Capital, the venture arm of the chip giant, is branching into
anti-virus security with a $16 million investment in Grisoft, based in the
Czech Republic. The purchase is Intel Capital’s largest equity investment to
date in Central and Eastern Europe.

Although virtually unknown in the U.S., Grisoft’s products are used on more than than
25 million computers worldwide, according to the company. Its software
supports all major operating systems and platforms and is distributed
through resellers and through the Internet. Intel Capital plans to help
Grisoft to reach new customers and market segments as well as optimize their
security software. Grisoft has offices in Brno, Czech Republic and in the
United States.

“By acquiring shares in Grisoft, Intel Capital is supporting the development of anti-virus software development and deployment around the globe,” said Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani in a statement. “Under the terms of a strategic cooperation agreement with Grisoft, Intel will work to help Grisoft improve security on computing platforms for small businesses and consumers.”

Formerly Intel’s treasurer, Sodhani was appointed head of Intel Capital in March.

Although the anti-virus market is dominated by a few major players in
the U.S. such as Symantec , and McAfee ,
the ever-morphing nature of the virus threat creates opportunity for new
companies with new solutions on a regular basis. Microsoft reached out
earlier this year to purchase Sybari
, a provider of anti-virus, anti-spam and content filtering
technologies for enterprise customers.

Intel Capital’s stated mission is to focus on minority equity investments
to grow the Internet economy in support of Intel’s
strategic interests. Its wide-ranging investments include hardware, software
and services companies in several market segments, including computing,
networking, and wireless communications. Intel Capital has invested more
than $4 billion in approximately 1,000 companies in more than 30 countries
since 1991.

Last year alone, Intel Capital invested more than $130 million in about
110 deals with approximately 40 percent of its investments made outside the
United States

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