Cyber Alert – Q2 2015 – Mergers and Acquisitions

Tom Pritchard
  • Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a cybersecurity firm that counts 80% of the Fortune 500 as customers and blocks over three million threats a day, agreed to be acquired by the investment firm, Bain Capital, for $2.4 billion. Blue Coat was previously bought by the private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC for $1.3 billion in 2012.
  • PayPal paid $60 million for cybersecurity firm CyActive. As the finance sector faces continued pressure from investors to provide online security, PayPal is keen to bolster its cyber credentials.  CyActive specialise in “predictive cybersecurity”.
  • The latest Cybersecurity 500 (containing the cybersecurity companies to watch in 2015) has been released, and features only 11 UK companies, as reported by TechWorld.
  • The cybersecurity firm, Darktrace, announced that it will be investing $18 million in hiring new recruits. CEO, Nicole Eagan, is particularly keen to narrow the gender gap within the industry by looking for more female recruits.  While technology companies have historically been dominated by a male workforce (75%), the information security sector is even more disparate, with only 11% if the workforce being female according to Eagan’s interview with Upstart Business Journal.
  • Alibaba invested in the cybersecurity sector via a $15 million investment into the Israeli cybersecurity-focused investment firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners.
  • The FT reported that Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms company, Singapore Telecommunications, acquired Chicago cloud-based cybersecurity firm Trustwave for $810 million. The same article reported that the global market for cybersecurity services is growing 15% per year and should be worth $24 billion by 2018.
  • TechCrunch reported that executives at Symantec, Internet Security System, Sourcefire and NetSuite are all investing in a new cybersecurity startup, Phantom Cyber. The company announced seed funding of $2.7 million.  Though the amount is relatively small, the number of high-profile investors has created a buzz around this young company that is aiming to remove human exercises from cybersecurity efforts by automating many of the processes.
  • Investment website, MarketWatch, reported that cybersecurity stocks are soaring after companies like HACK posted strong earnings reports and defence-industry giant Raytheon announced it will invest $1.7 billion to establish a stand-alone cybersecurity business. Read more about Raytheon’s investment here.
  • New startup Cybereason, which specialises in gathering and displaying real time threat information, raised $25 million in Series B funding. Investors include the security company, Lockheed Martin.
  • Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, threw his weight behind the cybersecurity company, “illusive networks”, after they raised $5 million in a Series A funding drive. Schmidt was reportedly impressed by the company’s “deception everywhere” technology that neutralises targeted attacks by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network.

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