AnchorFree, a Valley startup that lets its users surf the Web anonymously, just announced a $52 million Series C financing from Goldman Sachs.AnchorFree came to fame for its Hotspot Shield, an application that let’s users privately surf the Internet, free from prying eyes.
Facebook and Twitter got most of the credit for launching the Arab Spring. But how did users in countries where those services were blocked get online to use them?
Last year, AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky told Fast Company that his users in Egypt suddenly jumped from 100,000 to a million “overnight,” as protesters used it to get to Google and Facebook without the eyes of their oppressive government seeing anything.
AnchorFree now has 60 million users worldwide using it to surf two billion Web pages per month, the company says. That makes it 51st most trafficked site on the Web, according to Quantcast.
But the company has been hot in other areas, too, particularly mobile. iPhone and iPad users like it because it creates a secure connection on a public Wi-Fi network. For instance, if you are the coffee shop and you want to access your bank account, this app lets you do so without the risk of hackers snooping and stealing your password.
Goldman Sachs is joining a roster of famous tech people who have also invested in AnchorFree, including Flickr backer Esther Dyson, former Huffington Post president Greg Coleman, and Bert Roberts, the former CEO of MCI.