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Intel hands Czech firm millions for virus protection

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Intel Capital has taken its largest equity stake to date in an Eastern Europe outfit, sinking $16m into Czech anti-virus company Grisoft to help it expand in business and consumer markets.

The chip giant's venture capitalist arm said it was investing in Prague-based Grisoft to improve the development of anti-virus software and deployment around the globe.

Intel will help privately held Grisoft improve security on computing platforms for small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) and consumers, reach new customers and market segments, and work to optimize Grisoft's security software for different platforms. Grisoft's products, used by businesses and consumers, are deployed on 25m PCs and are distributed through resellers and across the internet.

Grisoft chairman Gabriel Eichler said in a statement he accepted investment from Intel to help accelerate the company's drive towards becoming a "global leader" in anti-virus software. "We felt that it was the appropriate time to bring in value-added investors to help capture Grisoft's future prospects," Eichler said.

Intel Capital last-year invested $130m in 110 different deals, with 40 per cent of its investments made outside the US. The company claims to have invested $4bn in 1,000 companies based in 30 countries since 1991.®

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