Asia is home to a new virtual private network startup.
Danny Levinson, an American technology entrepreneur who has successfully grown and exited Internet ventures in China over the past nearly 20 years, is focusing on online privacy with his latest venture named Kovurt based in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also the first outpost Snowden fled to once his spying revelations came to light.
Kovurt calls itself an Internet privacy fix, or VPN, and is aiming at providing cheap privacy solutions for users around the world. Kovurt began a couple years ago when Levinson was creating free virtual private networks for friends’ companies operating in China, and he morphed it into a business recently and already claims thousands of free and paid users. The company is providing mobile apps and desktop software to aid users to maintain privacy on wireless networks so that snoopers and malware don’t harm users’ data.
The company is headquartered in Hong Kong’s Cyberport, where many Internet startups are based, and has staff working in Scotland, Beijing, Delhi, Moscow, and Seattle. The company has been self-funded by Levinson the past two years and reportedly is not seeking any investment in the near term. Levinson says he is focused on growing his paid customer base and investment may be necessary for jumping further hurdles in the future.
Levinson’s two most recent ventures were one of China’s largest vertical business media news groups which sold to private investors, and a Cloud-based social media aggregation and distribution service that incorporated email marketing and social media monitoring that was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Vocus in the United States.