Indian Security Software Company Picks Boston to Start U.S. Move

What might be one of the biggest IT security companies you’ve never heard of is trying to make inroads in the U.S. market, and it’s making Boston its bridgehead.

Quick Heal Technologies is an India-based software company that has grown to more than 10 million customers and more than 100 countries since it was founded in 1993 out of a computer and calculator repair shop. Quick Heal sells security software to consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses, and earlier this year the company opened its first office in North America in Boston.

The company is strong in the Asian and Pacific markets, and in the U.S. and Canada it will try to make a dent in the enterprise security market, said Farokh Karani, its North American director.

Karani said the company’s sweet spot is in providing products and services to companies that need sophisticated security software but don’t have the resources of large enterprises.

“They have the same security needs as a large enterprise, but they don’t have the personnel or budget to go buy different solutions to manage all of it,” Karani said.

Quick Heal’s product is named Seqrite, and it bills itself as an end-to-end software solution covering endpoint, server, network, and mobile device protection, as well as cloud-enabled management.

Karani acknowledges Quick Heal is barely known in the U.S., but that isn’t deterring the company. He points to the success of Kaspersky Labs as an example of a once small foreign security software company that made a rapid breakthrough in the U.S. and global markets. Kaspersky opened its U.S. office in Massachusetts in 2004, and, by doing so, Karani helped establish its U.S. presence and sales team.

“While we are relatively unknown here, the same thing could have been said 10 or 15 years ago about Kaspersky,” he said. “We plan to be long-term players in the market.”

Overseas, Quick Heal has racked up accolades as it established itself in India and became one of the nation’s leading software companies before branching out into countries such as Japan and Australia. In 2010, Sequoia invested about $13 million in Quick Heal that helped finance that international growth, Karani said.

That’s fueled its ambitions, which are the same as almost every well-known U.S. startup. “We’re aiming to be a $100 million company, and we plan to go public in the next 12 to 24 months, and some of the press has speculated that we’ll have a $1 billion valuation,” Karani said.

Globally, Quick Heal has about 1,300 employees. The U.S. team is quite small by those standards, and the company plans to have about a dozen employees in Boston by the end of the year, Karani said.

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