Optenet: Major Malware Control Vendor Targets North America

Optenet is a substantial malware control vendor, with 200 staff and $20M+ revenues. It's little known in North America, and is now seeking to build its business in that geography.

Main Capabilities

  • URL filtering, anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware, anti-spam.
  • IM blocking.
  • Spam control works on email, SMS, and MMS.
  • Optenet sells software to service providers, who install it on their own equipment.

Main Types of Customer

  • Service providers. These are around 70% of Optenet's business. 60 large ISPs and mobile operators in Europe use Optenet to shield minors from inappropriate Web sites, and suppress spam and malware. The end devices are either mobile phones, or residential PCs connecting via the ISP's broadband.
  • Large enterprises, that look like service providers, such as Hilton hotels, MacDonald's, and large financial services firms. These are around 30% of revenues today.
  • A new type of customer is big U.S. ISPs (such as AT&T and Verizon) that want to offer malware-free Internet pipes.

Main Competitors

  • Websense, for URL filtering.
  • Cisco/IronPort, for spam control.
  • Fortinet.
  • Juniper, when selling to service providers.

Major Competitive Strengths, as Perceived by Optenet

  • Strong multitenant architecture, reducing support costs for service providers.
  • High catch rates for spam.
  • Multiple languages.


  • Optenet has been self-funded from its initiation, and had been consistently profitable.
  • Company has been breakeven for four or five years.
  • Half of revenues come from malware/URL control; the other half is spam control.
  • Calendar 2007 revenues were $14M; $20M+ is projected for calendar 2008.
  • 75% of revenues come from Europe.

... David Ferris

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