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"Wellington has been a great supporter. They consistently challenged us while being a fair and loyal business partner. I appreciate the open board discussions which have helped us greatly to develop our strategy."

Jan Hichert
CEO, Astaro

Wellington contact:
Frank Böhnke

All the way from early stage to global growth

In a world where internet security is paramount, Astaro has developed an innovative all-in-one perimeter security solution and become one of the largest providers worldwide of Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances. Its core product, Astaro Security Gateway, integrates network protection, web filtering and email security into an intuitive and easy-to-use web-based user interface. The open source-based platform combines “Best of Breed” solutions and uses open source as well leading commercial security products.

Founded in 2000 by a team of highly talented computer science students, Astaro has its roots in Karlsruhe, Germany. By and by the company came to see the huge potential of the US market for its products and therefore needed the means to internationalise. And this is when Wellington Partners came aboard. The first funding round took place in 2003, when finding early investors in this technology was proving difficult. Wellington backed the team around the young and charismatic CEO Jan Hichert – together with the New York-based technology investor Insight. Soon thereafter, Wellington supported the CEO’s move to the US – much earlier than originally planned – with highly successful results.

The opening of a second headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, was the starting point for global success. In 2010, Astaro developed into a company with revenues of more than $50 million and 220 employees in nine countries spanning three continents. This excellent positioning caught the attention of several large security companies. Eventually, Sophos, the leading vendor for data security products, acquired Astaro in May 2011. Sophos’ interest has been driven by the fact that Astaro’s comprehensive portfolio of network security solutions is 100% complementary to its own existing product portfolio. The merger enables Astaro to become part of an even bigger and more comprehensive growth story, with the potential to become a truly global leader in security. At the same time, this exit has provided Wellington’s investors with a very attractive return.   

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