CEE technology

Nicholas Watson of bne

John Chambers is true to his word. Just weeks after the Cisco Systems chief executive said he had written a blank cheque to beef up its security business, the US technology giant has acquired the Czech Republic’s little-known but highly promising Cognitive Security.

The deal is further proof of central and eastern Europe’s growing clout in technology, in particular cyber security. Read more

Surrounded by pit heads, slag heaps, industrial piping and hissing chemical plant, the city of Ostrava is more redolent of the Ruhr Valley of the 1960s than the Silicon Valley of today.

But the Czech Republic’s second largest metropolitan area (pop: 1.2m) has also sprouted a thriving IT culture, based on the Technical University of Ostrava. Read more

By Nicholas Watson of bne

Shares in AVG Technologies have had a bumpy ride since the antivirus software maker’s IPO in New York at the start of this year. But the surge in its shares on October 31 following strong earnings results indicates that investors are starting to look at the Czech-based company in a new light.

The shares rose 8.2 per cent to $10.84 on what traders described as “monster volume” as the company announced that its net profit for the third quarter rose more than fourfold to $19m from $3.6m a year earlier, and as its revenues hit $95m, up 34 per cent. Read more

Avast Software’s decision to pull its Nasdaq IPO just days before it was due to be priced is a blow to those who had hoped the international offerings from AVG Technologies and Epam Systems earlier this year signalled a new foreign investor interest in emerging Europe’s fast-growing technology companies.

As bne reported on Wednesday, the anti-virus software provider Avast postponed its IPO due to what a spokeswoman described as “overall bad market conditions”. Avast had been expected to issue 9m shares, which if priced at the mid-point of the $9-11 per share range, would have raised $90m and valued the Dutch-based company – though like AVG it has its roots in the Czech Republic – at €846m. Read more