May 28, 2022

Proton, the Swiss startup that developed the E2E encrypted webmail service ProtonMail, has acquired French startup SimpleLogin, which offers a free and open-source email alias service that allows people to hide their real email address. for digital services.

Founded in 2019, Paris-based SimpleLogin operates as a browser extension, web and mobile app, and provides users with a control panel where they can turn off aliases (for example, if someone starts spamming); And manage multiple real email addresses (for example, if they have multiple email accounts that they want to be able to send email aliases from).

So far, the startup has grown to over 100,000 users with over 2 million email aliases. We were also told that the monthly growth rate was in the double digits.

Speaking of “strong synergy between us,” according to a Proton spokesperson, the SimpleLogin and Proton services already overlap to a large extent, with about a quarter of SimpleLogin users also being ProtonMail users.

In a statement regarding the acquisition, Son Nguyen Kim, Founder and CEO of SimpleLogin, said: “SimpleLogin’s mission is to protect your online identity…we are proud of Proton’s mission, transparency, open source, and user love. first culture. It’s interesting to see what we can do with Proton’s experience and resources. ,

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Proton founder and CEO Andy Yen also highlighted the coincidence, writing, “We have been keeping a close eye on SimpleLogin for a long time because many ProtonMail users use it to log into ProtonMail to prevent this from happening. “Addresses leaked to spammers.”

“SimpleLogin is an add-on service for ProtonMail,” he adds. “ProtonMail protects the privacy of your data with encryption, while SimpleLogin prevents attackers from discovering your real email address by listening to your email.”

Proton plans to integrate the SimpleLogin functionality more deeply into ProtonMail, meaning that a wider user base will be able to hide their email address with SimpleLogin without having to register separately with the latter service.

For yen, Proton will also support SimpleLogin as a separate service.

“If you are already using SimpleLogin with ProtonMail, everything will work as before,” he says. “SimpleLogin will continue to operate as a separate service, and the SimpleLogin team will continue to create new features and add functionality, but now uses the Proton infrastructure and security technologies.”

The SimpleLogin team will continue to operate from Paris, where Ian said Proton will now actively recruit new people as the company continues to grow, adding that it expects to create “dozens” of jobs in the coming years.

This acquisition marks a further expansion of Proton’s services to include its own VPN brand, calendar product, and cloud storage (also known as Proton Drive), in addition to E2E webmail for individuals and business users.

Maintaining a privacy-centric business model that does not rely on data mining users to generate revenue encourages expansion in additional, consistent service areas to maximize cross-selling opportunities. So, in recent years, we’ve also seen DuckDuckGo, the tracking-free browser, add a few extras to compete for privacy-focused services.

Most pertinently, last summer DuckDuckGo launched an email security service that offers an email security feature similar to SimpleLogin – giving users a free personal email address (albeit with the user’s regular email address). that it doesn’t store your email and doesn’t (yet) offer a similar webmail service).

It is understood that previously very different services are expanding and overlapping across regions due to increased privacy competition. For users, the result is a full-featured privacy product that promises to keep most of their online activities safe from prying eyes.

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