EMK acquires Luminati
EMK acquires Luminati – the world’s largest IP proxy network, which brings transparency to the internet
EMK Capital LLP and Hola Networks Ltd today announced that funds managed by EMK have agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in Luminati, the enterprise proxy network division of Hola, for an enterprise value of $200m. The founders of Hola Networks will retain a significant stake in the company and Ofer Vilenski, Co-Founder, will continue as CEO of Luminati. EMK and the Luminati team will work together to grow Luminati and will continue to invest heavily in enhancing the customer experience and developing additional technologies and services.
Luminati is the world’s leading enterprise IP proxy network, and helps make the Web more transparent by allowing businesses to see the internet from the consumers’ point of view. In the Internet’s early days, web pages were simple – every viewer saw the same page. Today, sites are dynamic – they recognize the viewer and show different content, advertisements and prices based on the viewers’ geography, demographics, and other identifying information. Websites can also determine if a competitor is comparing prices, or if a security company is auditing them for potential threats. These trends are eliminating the transparency of the Web: for example, they reduce online retailers’ ability to compete as retailers can’t reliably see the prices that are presented to consumers; similarly these trends make it difficult for security firms to find malicious sites, as such sites are presented only to users of a certain demographic. These developments have also made it difficult for ad networks & website owners to check that the ads they are delivering are safe, because an unscrupulous ad vendor may present malicious ads only to the unsuspecting user but not to the ad network.
Luminati brings back transparency and trust to the Web by enabling its enterprise customers to access the internet through its proprietary network of over 40 million IP addresses. Luminati helps customers to see the Web as it appears to real consumers, without being blocked, slowed or spoofed and to view the Web from different users’ perspectives from any city across the globe. Luminati’s technology and patent portfolio allow Luminati to operate the only mass-scale residential IP proxy network in the world.
Luminati serves corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies, in many different sectors which use Luminati’s transparency network for ad verification, brand protection, price comparison, fraud prevention, data collection, cyber security, and application performance measurement. Luminati’s residential IP service is required for many businesses that need certainty in the accuracy of the data they collect online and the accuracy of the cyber security checks they conduct.
Luminati‘s enterprise proxy solutions were separated from Hola in 2014. The Hola Networks group employs a unique model for rapid innovation – Hola Networks engineers and product managers develop technologies from Minimum Viable Products (MVP) to hugely profitable services, as was the case with Luminati. Hola will continue as a standalone company, growing its VPN and video CDN product lines, as well as other new fast growing initiatives. Hola Networks was founded by Ofer Vilenski and Derry Shribman who together earlier founded Jungo (acquired by NDS in 2006).
Ofer Vilenski, Co-Founder and CEO of Luminati, said: “I am extremely proud of Hola’s team, which over 4 amazing years has grown Luminati from a technology, to a profitable, fast growing business. We believe that with EMK’s transformational growth experience, Luminati will reach the next level in its development, bringing transparency to commerce and data security.”
Mark Joseph, Managing Partner at EMK said: “EMK Capital is delighted to have agreed to acquire Luminati in partnership with its Founders. The Luminati team led by Ofer Vilenski has built an innovative and fast growing business, which helps address some of the key challenges online businesses face today. We look forward to working closely with such a highly performing team to help take Luminati to the next stage of its growth.”
Horizons Ventures, DFJ Tamir Fishman, Trilogy Partners, DFJ, Magma Ventures, Iris Ventures, and others are selling their interests in Luminati as part of this transaction.
Both Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal served as legal advisor to EMK. CODE Advisors served as financial advisor and Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co., served as legal advisor to Hola Networks. Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co., served as legal advisor to Hola Networks’ major investors.
About EMK Capital
EMK Capital LLP is a private equity firm, established to continue the investment track record of Edmund Lazarus (previously Founder and Managing Partner of Bregal Capital) and Mark Joseph (previously Founder and Partner at Oakley Capital Private Equity). EMK is focused on investing in businesses with unrecognised and/or hard to realise value and where EMK can support management teams in executing transformative change. The firm closed its first fund in May 2017 at its hard cap of £575 million and in August 2017 this fund made its first portfolio investment acquiring Reconomy, the UK’s leading outsourced waste management business.