Google buys cybersecurity service Impermium

Impermium developed anti-spam software, aiming to end fraud and abuse

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 16, 2014
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Already this year we have been two popular services, Snapchat and Skype, get hacked. Not to mention what happened to Target this past holiday season, and all of the companies that were hit last year. Cyber security is obviously on everyone's mind right now, and even the biggest companies are feeling the need to protect themselves.

That is why Google has gone out and purchased cybersecurity service Impermium, it was announced via a note on Impermium's homepage on Wednesday.

None of the financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but Mark Risher, CEO and co-founder of Impermium, revealed that his employees will be coming to work at Google.

"By joining Google, our team will merge with some of the best abuse fighters in the world. With our combined talents we’ll be able to further our mission and help make the Internet a safer place. We’re excited about the possibilities," he wrote.

The most obvious choice for where the team will be heading would be Gmail, since Impermium was known primary for its anti-spam capabilities. Except that it was actually Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of Google+, who welcomed the new employees in a Google+ status on Wednesday.

His note read, “Google’s spam and abuse teams are industry-leading and world-class. Impermium should fit right in.”

So it looks like it could actually be Google+ that is getting the security update, and not Gmail. 

It's not clear right now if Impermium was purchased for its technology as well as its team, and if it will continue to operate within Google or if it will be shut down. Google has so far not responded to our request for comment, but we will update if we learn more information.

Founded three years ago, the Redwood City-based Impermium was built by Risher, Vish Ramarao and Naveen Jamal, who were formerly the leaders of the Yahoo anti-spam and security teams.

Its goal was to provide the essential anti-abuse and security services for many of the Internet's most popular consumer web sites and social media engagement platforms.

"When we founded Impermium three years ago, our mission was to help rid the web of spam, fraud, and abuse," Risher wrote. "As sites gain in popularity, criminals and miscreants are never far behind, and Impermium has worked hard to defend some of the largest and fastest-growing sites."

The company raised a total of $9 million in two rounds: a $1 million seed financing round from Accel Partners, AOL Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Freestyle Capital, Greylock Discovery Fund, Morado Ventures and angel groups Archimedes Capital and Embarcadero Ventures in June 2011, and an $8 million round from Highland Capital Partners, The Social+Capital Partnership and Freestyle Capital in November of the same year.

This is Google's second acquisition of the year, after picking up smart thermostat company Nest for $3.2 billion earlier this week. 

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Description: Impermium provides a subscription-based anti-spam service that protects against the biggest threats in the social web today, allowing soc...
Bio: Mark Risher is CEO and Co-Founder of Impermium. As the former "Spam Czar" for Yahoo!, he has regularly presented to government,...

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