At a glance.
- Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft's board.
- Xerox temporarily halts attempted HP takeover.
- Symantec's post-acquisition strategy.
- Brave files GDPR complaint against Google.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Israeli application security testing company Checkmarx is being acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman at a $1.15 billion valuation, CRN reports. Checkmarx's CEO Emmanuel Benzaquen said, "With more corporations leveraging software development to scale their business than ever before, executives are acutely aware of the increased risks caused by software exposure. We are thrilled to partner with H&F in our journey that takes our 'software equals security' vision to the next level."
Deloitte Australia has acquired Melbourne-based cybersecurity intelligence firm Zimbani, according to ARN. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Deloitte Australia's Cyber Leader Ian Blatchford stated that "Zimbani's particular focus on security architecture and engineering has created a strong reputation in the cyber market. It is one of only a handful of providers in Australia capable of operating at scale and joins previous deals in the region as part of our significant investment in Asia."
Georgia-based risk management firm Riskonnect has acquired UK-based governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software provider Xactium for an undisclosed amount. Riskonnect's CEO Jim Wetekamp stated, "Adding Xactium’s deep industry experience, talented team, and innovative solutions to our GRC offerings will empower our customers to elevate and transform the way they manage risk and compliance and create value."
Investments and exits.
Cupertino, California-based container management company Rancher Labs has raised $40 million in a Series D round led by Telstra Ventures, HarbourVest, and Telstra Corporation, Australia’s largest telecommunications company. Rancher Labs says it "will use its Series D funding to expand focus on product innovation, increase investment in go-to-market activities, and to accelerate market expansion."
Virginia-based supply chain risk management company Interos has received $17.5 million in a Series B round led by Venrock, with participation from Kleiner Perkins. Interos says it plans to use the funding "to capitalize on last year’s growth and more than double its personnel in 2020, hiring more staff to augment its proprietary software."
San Mateo, California-based network security startup Axis Security has emerged from stealth with $17 million in funding from from CyberStarts, Ten Eleven Ventures's Alex Doll, Gili Raanan, a partner at Sequoia Capital, Dan Amiga, founder of Fireglass, and board of director member Michael Fey, former president of Symantec and Blue Coat. Axis's co-founder and CEO Dor Knafo states that the company's Axis Application Access Cloud is "solving the problem of secure application access with a cloud-based approach that keeps users separate from the network and the applications. This dramatically reduces the attack surface, it also provides a level of visibility and control that is not found in alternative solutions today."
Boston-headquartered risk-based vulnerability orchestration company ZeroNorth has raised $10 million in a Series A+ round led by Crosslink Capital, with participation from existing investors ClearSky, Rally Ventures, and Petrillo Capital. The company says the funding "will accelerate ZeroNorth’s growth by enabling the company to further expand key functions quickly, including engineering, customer support and sales."
Missouri-based cloud security management startup DisruptOps has secured $9 million in a Series A funding round from Drive Capital and Rally Ventures. The company says the funding will allow it "to scale go-to-market capabilities and accelerate product development to meet growing market demands."
Bill Gates is leaving the boards of both Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway in order to focus on philanthropic efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Parsons Corporation has hired John Johns as vice president account executive of the company's federal intelligence unit, which is part of the company's cyber and intelligence business. Johns previously worked as vice president and account executive at Culmen International.
Lares has hired Dr. Mark Arnold as its Vice President of Advisory Services. Dr. Arnold has previously held leadership roles at Navisite, Optive, PTC, The TJX Companies, Computershare, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Symantec.
Security companies in the news.
Xerox's CEO John Visentin said on Friday that the company has temporarily halted its efforts to take over HP "in light of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic," according to the Wall Street Journal. The Register notes that Xerox intends to continue with the attempted takeover when the pandemic has subsided.
Richard Stiennon, writing in Forbes, reports that Symantec is retaining only its top resellers and its 2,000 most profitable customers, leaving more than 100,000 of its former customers looking for a new vendor. Stiennon asserts that "Symantec’s evident strategy—post Broadcom acquisition—is insane and doomed to failure," arguing that private equity firms "lack strategy." He holds that "the cybersecurity industry is not prone to cash-cows that can be bled of profits to pay down debt financing." Stiennon advises startups to look for former Symantec employees as potential hires, and he recommends that Symantec's enterprise customers begin looking for cloud-based alternatives.
Brave has filed a GDPR complaint against Google for allegedly "infringing Article 5(1)b of the GDPR, which sets forth the 'purpose limitation' principle." This principle states that "[p]ersonal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes." Brave accuses Google of violating this principle by operating an "internal data free-for-all," in which "data is collected and processed in an unlimited way, with no proper opportunity for the consumer to consent or withdraw or even to know what is happening."