A year ago, Austin entrepreneurs David Endler and Pedram Amini were unveiling their computer security startup, Jumpshot, to the audience of the crowd-funding Website, Kickstarter.com.
Things went well. The young company attracted more than 3,000 supporters on the site and raised just over $162,000 in exchange for T-shirts, various trinkets and early-stage versions of their yet-to-be-released software, also called Jumpshot.
And things continue to go well for the two. On Tuesday, they announced their company has been acquired for an undisclosed price by Avast Software, a European company that is a powerhouse in the computer and mobile device security market.
Endler and Amini will continue to run the Austin startup as a separate brand and business unit of Avast, which is based in Prague, Czech Republic, and use their new parent as a launchpad for future growth. Their software will be relaunched as an Avast software product before the end of the year.
In the meantime, Endler and Amini will begin to add to their staff to expand their development and support the process of translating the software into multiple languages and expansion of its marketing effort.
Some of the earliest customers for Jumpshot are expected to be current customers of Avast, which has nearly 200 million users worldwide, mostly for its anti-virus products.
Jumpshot also makes security software, but it also makes tools that help personal computer users clean up junk files, unnecessary toolbars and various “bloatware” that slows down the computer’s performance.
And the company’s product does its job in a fun way. It has a family of animated cartoon characters that carry out the various tasks involved with cleaning computer files.
“This is going to fast-forward our growth,” Amini said. “What would have taken us two years to get to 1 million customers now will happen in a couple of months.” The acquisition also gives the two the resources to move more quickly and expanding the functions and features of their product.
The computer software field is filled with lots of small no-name companies, but Endler and Amini have serious professional credentials. They were security researchers for TippingPoint Technologies Inc., an Austin network security company that was sold to 3Com Corp. in 2005. That company is now a part of Hewlett-Packard Co.
For Jumpshot, they wanted to software that worked well and that was fun to use for inexpert computer users. They worked with an Austin design firm, Thirteen23 to create “minions,” which are a motley group of animated characters that perform the different functions of their software in an understandable and non-threatening way.
“We spent a lot on user experience and design, much more than many startups would have,” Endler said.
The two are grateful to their Kickstarter supporters for giving them the feedback they needed.
“They helped us test the software and gave us recommendations on how to improve,” Endler said.”They opted into helping to fund our dream, testing our products and giving us moral support along the way.”