tunnelbear mcafee

Toronto startup TunnelBear just sold itself to a tech behemoth

The powerful, successful and impossibly fun cybersecurity firm TunnelBear just became the latest in a long line of Toronto startups to hit the big time – as in even bigger than it already was. Like a mama grizzly in the summertime.

California-based tech giant McAfee – the same one that owned the anti-virus game throughout the 90's – announced today that it had recently acquired TunnelBear for an undisclosed amount.

"McAfee shares our passion to help everyone browse a more secure and private internet," said TunnelBear co-founder Ryan Dochuk in a press release.

"The acquisition provides us with the resources to develop our service, expand into new regions, and continue leadership of privacy and security practices in the VPN industry."

TunnelBear has grown since its inception in 2011 to become one of the most popular cross-platform virtual private network companies in the world, with a reported 20 million people having used its apps across desktop and mobile.

It's office (or "Bear Cave") is currently located on Bathurst Street between Queen and Adelaide.

The company's core service, which shields a user's location and identity on the web, has become increasingly important among consumers in recent years as the importance of online privacy gets more attention.

What sets it apart from competitors, at least at the consumer level, is... well, a pretty intense focus on bears and bear puns.

TunnelBear is known for being quirky. Check out the company's "about" page to see what I mean. It's all bears and it's all glorious.

McAfee, which now describes itself as a "device-to-cloud cybersecurity company," is one of the most established brands in online security – and it looks to be ramping up for something with this most recent acquisition.

The firm had already purchased another cybersecurity service provider, Skyhigh Networks, just a few months ago.

I, for one, look forward to seeing what kind of magic TunnelBear and McAfee make together – as long as the former keeps its core creative aesthetic in place. Those cute little bear-burrowing animations are clutch. You can't put a price on fun.

Lead photo by

TunnelBear


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