Two of the top VPN providers, NordVPN and Surfshark, are merging to form one company.
NordVPN’s parent company, Nord Security, announced the deal on Tuesday. The newly merged company is called Cyberspace, which has been registered in The Netherlands.
However, both VPN providers say they’ll continue operating independently and “rely on separate infrastructure and product roadmaps,” according to the announcement. This means NordVPN users won’t share the same VPN servers as Surfshark’s users and vice-versa. NordVPN will also remain incorporated in Panama.
In addition, Nord Security told us: “This is not an acquisition, Nord Security is not buying Surfshark, this is a merger. However, further details of the transaction are not disclosed as both companies are privately owned entities.”
Nevertheless, the two companies did say “the merger will open new technical knowledge-sharing opportunities and enable more focused market diversification.” So the providers may eventually adopt the same technologies.
It’s also unclear who will lead the new company. But Nord Security and Surfshark are combining in the hopes of growing in a market already saturated with VPN providers.
“The idea behind the deal is to streamline resources towards common goals while preserving the autonomy of both companies,” they said. “Founders highlight that this strategic business move will serve as a springboard towards more rapid development and innovation while maintaining the uniqueness of both brands that customers learned to appreciate over many years.”
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Surfshark also noted the VPN industry is facing some consolidation. In recent years, Kape Technologies has been buying up providers including ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost. Ziff Davis, which owns PCMag, also bought IP Vanish and StrongVPN in 2019.
“Consolidations in the global consumer cybersecurity market indicate the industry’s maturity. They also bring new competitive challenges,” Surfshark Founder Vytautas Kaziukonis said.
The two companies began exploring a merger in the middle of 2021 before finalizing the agreement on Tuesday. However, prior to the announcement both Nord Security and Surfshark downplayed their ties after TechRadar reported the two companies were developed under the same Lithuanian business incubator Tesonet. This sparked some speculation that Nord Security and Surfshark might merge, which proved to be true.
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