Since 2007 Atlanta-native and entrepreneur Michael Gargiulo has built websites used by tens of millions of people. Nearly a decade later in 2017, the visionary spent nearly $1 million to acquire the domain name VPN.com as the demand for privacy and Internet security skyrocketed.
More than 480 million already use a VPN and Michael’s vision is to help one billion businesses and families connect and protect their Internet privacy with a VPN by 2025. The Forbes Contributor joins other Georgia executives including Cliff Oxford former CEO of the Oxford Center, David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Tech Village and Gary Simat, CEO of Total Server Solutions as one of Atlanta’s top technology Entrepreneurs in 2020.
“24,578 Americans have their identity stolen every single day. Unsecure Internet access has quickly become the easiest way to steal someone’s sensitive information and track their entire life, online. At VPN.com we help people defend their privacy and protect against anyone creeping on your information by simply connecting to your VPN. Using a VPN is the seat belt for your Internet access and without it identity theft and disaster is imminent,” Michael Gargiulo commented.
Gargiulo grew up in East Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor degrees in Finance, Risk Management and a certificate in Entrepreneurship. Notably, he was a UGA cheerleader traveling across the country as an Ambassador for the University of Georgia Athletic Association under Greg McGarity, Mark Richt, Kirby Smart and Ben O’Brien.
“While at UGA, I was constantly buying and selling domains with entrepreneurs who understand the future of the Internet. In 2013 I started the painstaking four-year journey of locating and negotiating with the previous domain owner of VPN.com. In the end, this acquisition and ability to own the category-defining dot-com brand of the $50 billion VPN industry was the best decision of my entire career,” Gargiulo said.
Gargiulo is an incredible example of what the entrepreneurs should strive for in their first five years as a leader. In 2014 Gargiulo was also recognized by the Metro Atlanta Chamber as Entrepreneur of the Year for his story as founder of CoolMathGames.com, also an exact-match domain. The site now serves more than 700 million visitors per year and is now considered one of the largest online gaming sites in the world.
“Exact-match domain names have been critical to our success. In fact, we have a whole team of domain brokers now dedicated to helping other Entrepreneurs, politicians and large corporations replicate our decade of success with these powerful domains like VPN.com. If your business needs to upgrade your domain name, our team of domain experts can help you own your industry at vpn.com/domains,” Gargiulo said.
By 2030 it is estimated more than $100 billion of VPN services will be sold every year primarily for Internet security, International content access and censorship. Gargiulo’s vision of this industry in 2013 seems to be panning out in a grand way that has attracted investors and countless acquisition offers of VPN.com.
“Our success today is from a lot of hard work years ago. Thankfully, there has been an incredible amount of news surrounding privacy and security over the last five years. Breaches, hacks and cybersecurity losses are at all time highs and these damages are accelerating. People and businesses are now wanting to proactively protect their information and a VPN provides this with the simple click of a button.” Gargiulo concluded.
It is wonderful to see one of Atlanta’s top Entrepreneurs succeeding in this way. With cybersecurity losses expected to eclipse $6 trillion in 2021 the need for VPN and other Internet security protections will continue to grow exponentially. Congratulations to Michael Gargiulo and his team on this accomplishment. It will be wonderful to watch one of Atlanta’s top entrepreneurs grow through a decade and vision primed for massive success.
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Photography by: Courtesy of Michael Gargiulo