Some Companies Are Buying Up VPNs – Should You Do It Too?

Some Companies Are Buying Up VPNs – Should You Do It Too?
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The VPN industry is huge. While it was hidden in the dark corner of the techy world ten years ago, it’s now broken through to everyday consumers. According to Global Market Insights, the industry’s expected to top at least $54 billion by 2024.

Maybe that explains why so many big companies are hungry to gobble up smaller VPNs right now. You may not have heard about these acquisitions, but recent research by the cybersecurity experts at VPNpro revealed that there were only 23 companies behind 97 VPN brands they looked at.


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That means that not only are big companies buying up smaller VPN brands, but they’re buying them in bulk. This sets them up to get an even bigger piece of the $54 billion pie as more consumers start using VPNs.

So, if they can do it, why not you? Today, we’re going to look at three examples of companies that have recently acquired multiple VPN brands, and then show you why you should consider doing the same.

j2 Global quietly buys multiple VPNs

In late April, readers began to notice the following disclosure on a PCMag article:


VPNpro’s research showed that, IPVanish and StrongVPN originally belonged to StackPath, which means that j2 Global acquired that company. j2 Global has a large portfolio of companies, including not just PCMag but also the popular video game review site IGN. StackPath, on the other hand, is most famous for its content delivery network that helps improve website load speeds.

But if j2 Global acquired StackPath, they very well didn’t get just three VPN products, but also acquired its WLVPN white label VPN service. Essentially, a white label VPN service runs the A-Z of a VPN product, but another company can slap its name on it. Brands such as Namecheap VPN and VPNHub (Pornhub’s VPN service) are customers of j2 Global’s WLVPN.

Therefore, according to VPNpro, it means that j2 Global acquired up to 10 VPN brands when it bought StackPath.

AnchorFree now owns 9 VPNs

Readers normally associate AnchorFree with their Hotspot Shield VPN service. But fewer know that it also has the popular TouchVPN and JustVPN brands under its name.

Even less known, however, is that AnchorFree also bought the VPN provider Betternet. VPNpro’s research shows that Betternet develops not just its own VPN service, but also three other mobile VPN products.

Now, with Betternet’s VPN infrastructure, AnchorFree is able to improve on its flagship VPN product, or introduce a new player into the growing market.

Kape Technologies’ big acquisitions

j2 Global and AnchorFree had a simple strategy of buying multiple smaller VPN brands. That’s one way to enter the VPN market, but Kape Technologies (previously Crossrider) decided to go another route. They simply bought two big VPN brands.

The first is one of the biggest names in the consumer VPN market: CyberGhost. This Romanian VPN provider is often listed in the top 5 VPNs currently on the market, with an ongoing growth strategy. VPNpro’s market analysis showed that CyberGhost increased its server count by 422% since its acquisition. Since VPNs usually hide their customer numbers, server counts are a good way to gauge just how much the company is growing.

The second VPN acquired by Kape Technologies is ZenMate, a German-based company. According to their site, they now have more than 45 million users, a consistent growth since the acquisition. Based on these figures, Kape’s acquisition strategy seems to be working out as planned.

Why you should buy your own VPN

So now that we’ve looked at some examples of popular VPN acquisitions, let’s look at why you should consider buying your own VPN.

#1 Break into the VPN market quickly

The biggest advantage of buying an existing VPN brand is that you can gain immediate access to the huge VPN market. You can do this by using Kape’s strategy of acquiring big VPN brands, although this is much more difficult. Especially since you’re essentially placing all your eggs in one or two baskets.

A better, safer strategy is to buy up many smaller VPNs and build them over time, sharing resources to build them up at the same time. Another advantage to this is that you’ll get lots of smaller pieces of the market, rather than betting on one big product for revenue.

#2 Gain trust instantly

For VPN brands, trust is their bread and butter. In order to establish themselves as a secure, private, and effective solution, VPNs spend years building up their reputation in the cybersecurity field. That’s why it’s so hard for new VPNs to gain a foothold in the market. However, you can bypass all of that by simply buying existing VPN brands with good reputations, without necessarily publicizing the acquisition.

#3 Improve your existing products

Just like AnchorFree, you may already have a VPN or cybersecurity solution in your portfolio. Acquiring one or many VPN brands can help you expand or improve your existing products. You can then use their know-how, infrastructure, and other resources to boost your company’s existing offerings.

Whatever reason moves you, know this: the VPN market is big, it’s growing, and now is the perfect time to get at the forefront by buying your own VPN product.

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Ankur Shah is the founder of the Value Investing India Report, a leading independent, value oriented journal of the Indian financial markets. Ankur has more than eight years of equity research experience covering emerging markets, with a focus on India and South East Asia. He has worked as both a buy-side investment analyst for a global long/short equity hedge fund and a sell-side analyst for an emerging markets investment bank. Ankur is a graduate of Harvard Business School. You can learn more about his latest views on global markets at the Value Investing India Report. -- He can be emailed at
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