Thawte is an Internet company that is based out of South Africa. They are a certificate provider for X.509 certificates. Mark Shuttleworth started the company in 1995 and, to date, they are the fifth largest public certificate issuer on the Internet. Thawte was originally run from a garage. They originally aimed to provide secure servers for customers, but ultimately began to focus on certificates, building one of the largest businesses in the industry.
The company has largely grown through sales, mergers, and acquisitions. In 1999, Verisign bought Thawte for $575 million. These two companies had the first certificate for Netscape browsers during the browser wars.
An interesting fact about Thawte is that Shuttleworth has gone on to do some pretty amazing things after the Thawte sale. Shuttleworth used his money from the Thawte sale to help fund the Ubuntu project, an alternate browser for smart devices and computers.
Entrust is a provider of digital security, a privately owned company, and employer of 350 software engineers and other professionals. In addition to SSL certificates, the company also provides identity management, security software, public key infrastructure. In addition to these products, it also does mobile authentication for hosted websites. The company is headquartered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Also, it has offices in London, Tokyo, and other international cities, with its largest office being in Ottawa, Canada.
Entrust truly has a global reach with its number of customers. Entrust serves public and private organizations in over 60 countries. It also owns a large number of patents, with 125 patents either granted or pending. The company has been passed on from Thoma Bravo, a private firm, for $124 million and, and the Datacard Group.