Avast’s new secure, private mobile web browser for Android traces its roots to the company’s previously unreported acquisition of Seattle startup Tenta last year.
The antivirus and security technology company, based in Prague, acquired Tenta in November for undisclosed terms, Tenta co-founder Jen McEwen confirmed via email. Tenta’s team joined Avast with the acquisition, and continued to work together to develop the new Avast Secure Browser for Android, which is based on the Tenta code base.
Avast’s new Android browser, which offers VPN, encryption and other privacy and security features, joins existing versions of the Avast Secure Browser for Windows and Mac. Avast says an iOS version is also in the works, set for release later this year. The Avast browser comes in a free version, and a premium version with additional features for $12/year.
When Tenta was raising funds, skeptical investors would often question whether users truly cared about privacy, but “it was a totally different conversation” when it came to the acquisition negotiations with Avast, McEwen said. Avast has more than 30 million users of its existing private browsers, and decided Tenta “was the right fit to go multiplatform fast,” she said.
The new browser comes as remote work during the COVID-19 crisis increases the importance of VPN technology. Privacy has increasingly become a selling point for new tech products.
The Android-only Tenta browser, also available in free and premium versions, remains available in the Google Play store. It received an upgrade along with the release of the new Avast browser.
Tenta was started in 2016 by the co-founders of MiKandi, a separate Seattle-based company that operates a marketplace for adult apps. ConsenSys Ventures, the venture capital arm of blockchain company ConsenSys, invested an undisclosed amount in Tenta in January 2019.