Zone Labs To Get Funding, New Board Member
It's a bigger jump from freeware to corporateware than mostneophyte software marketers anticipate. But Zone Labs Inc., developer of the wildly popular personal firewall product ZoneAlarm, may be about to make that leap, with the help of some significant friends.
This week, Zone Labs in San Francisco will report a round of VC funding that includes significant investments from Intel Capital, Intel's venture fund, and EastWest Venture Group, a high-profile media backer in Los Angeles. Even more significant, certainly for the corporate market, John McAfee has joined Zone Labs' board of directors and is ponying up his own cash as part of the venture- funding round. McAfee knows a thing or two about successful shareware: His antivirus product became an industry standard and his company, McAfee Associates, merged with Network General in 1997 to become Network Associates Inc.
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ZoneAlarm is one of this year's most successful Internet downloads, to the tune of 6 million copies. Zone Labs markets a more robust version, ZoneAlarm Pro, with which the company hopes to crack the corporate market. McAfee thinks it has a good chance. "Corporate firewalls don't work anymore," he says. Because of the increase in mobile computing and telecommuting, "the work space is splintering." Therefore, PC firewalls are an increasingly important security element, and ZoneAlarm's role-based technology is uniquely suited to the corporate environment. For McAfee, it has a familiar ring. "The patented technology developed by Zone Labs and the company's innovative approach to the market are the most exciting developments in the security market since--McAfee Associates," he says.
ZoneAlarm Pro is priced at $39.95 for a single-user annual license; volume discounts are available.