Symantec buys firm that blocks spam TurnTide Inc., of Conshohocken, which targets unwanted e-mail at the source, brought $28 million.

Posted: July 13, 2004

TurnTide Inc., the anti-spam technology start-up in Conshohocken, has been acquired by security giant Symantec Corp. for about $28 million in cash.

Symantec spokeswoman Genevieve Haldeman said yesterday that TurnTide's hardware and software determined spammers' online addresses and prevented spam e-mails from reaching recipients' inboxes.

"Say you get 10,000 e-mail coming from the same address," Haldeman said. "TurnTide identifies that it's not typical to send 10,000 e-mails. What's unique is that this technology is looking at the Internet protocol address to determine where it came from, and stopping it there. E-mail doesn't have the opportunity to leave the senders' server."

Haldeman said the TurnTide deal closed on Wednesday.

TurnTide has fewer than 20 workers, and 10 to 15 employees will be absorbed by Symantec, Haldeman said. She said she did not know whether the workers would remain in Conshohocken or be relocated.

Symantec, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., and makes the Norton line of Internet security software, plans to offer TurnTide's technology as an additional service to customers.

"Spam is a problem everyone has," TurnTide cofounder Josh Kopelman said yesterday. "Over 200 companies are trying to solve it. TurnTide is solving it through a fundamentally different way, instead of masking the symptoms."

Kopelman made a big splash in the tech world after founding Half.com Inc., the fixed-price consumer sales site in 1999, and selling it to eBay Inc. less than a year later for more than $300 million.

Kopelman and other area tech high-fliers - Lucinda Duncalfe Holt, formerly of Internet consulting company Destiny WebSolutions, and Vincent Schiavone, chief executive officer of the Paoli-based tech incubator ePrivacy Group - launched TurnTide in February.

Symantec, a publicly held company that had $1.87 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, learned about TurnTide from being a customer itself.

Contact staff writer Wendy Tanaka at 215-854-2752 or wtanaka@phillynews.com.

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