Last June, Troy Hunt, the man behind Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), made a shocking announcement—he was going to sell the company. Considering that the service is a treasure trove of data from breached companies, the news was concerning. But he promised he’d only sell to a company who would treat the data and the service right. Now nearly a year later, the search is over—because the right company doesn’t exist.
To be clear, it isn’t that companies weren’t interested, all told 141 companies initially reached out to express interest. But as Troy explains in a post on his site, most of them didn’t even meet the essential criteria for sale.
You see, when he first announced that he wanted to put Have I Been Pwned into the hands of a company that could take it levels Troy couldn’t manage on his own, that came with goals to achieve and promises to keep, like continuing to provide free consumer searches.
Troy, and the Merger and Acquisition company he hired for assistance in the process, quickly whittled the list down to 43 companies. From there, long meetings began, followed by non-binding bids, and finally a courtship with a single suitable company.
But something happened, and while Troy Hunt usually provides as much detail as possible for the sake of transparency, he can’t do so in this case due to contracts and binding documents. He can’t tell us what company nearly bought the service or exactly why it fell through.
The best we get is a change in the company’s goals outside the HIBP acquisition that led to the breakdown. That very change in goals made both sides (the company in question and Troy) realize the sale was no longer suitable.
And so instead of starting over and settling for a nearly perfect company, Troy is choosing to stop entirely. It’s perfection or nothing, which is something we can be grateful for considering the nature of the data HIBP contains.
You should take a look at his post and see all the details that led to this decision. The good news is HIBP isn’t going anywhere, and after a well-earned break, it sounds like Troy has plans to expand the company’s services into well-needed areas.
But for now, nothing is changing. If anything Have I Been Pwned has been growing, both in new company breach information (which never stops) and features for company’s to integrate into services with APIs.
Source: Troy Hunt