At a glance.
- Advent's acquisition of Forescout placed on hold, perhaps permanently.
- TSMC will build $12 billion plant in Arizona.
- US Commerce Department restricts Huawei from buying chips that use US technology.
Mergers and acquisitions.
US-based private equity firm Advent International backed off from its planned $1.9 billion acquisition of San Jose, California-based device visibility and control company Forescout, three days before the acquisition was slated to take place on May 18th. Forescout said in a statement, "Forescout and Advent are engaged in ongoing discussions regarding timing to close and the terms of the transaction. There can be no assurance that Forescout and Advent will be able to reach agreement on terms." Forescout's President and CEO Michael DeCesare said, "This is an uncertain time for everyone, as businesses and communities across the world navigate the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to believe that Advent is the right partner for Forescout and we remain committed to completing the transaction in the near-term."
Massachusetts-based privileged access management company CyberArk has acquired Santa Clara, California-based identity-as-a-service provider Idaptive from Thoma Bravo for $70 million. CyberArk says the acquisition will allow the companies to "deliver a comprehensive Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based, security-first approach to managing identities that is adaptive and context-aware, and architected on the principles of Zero Trust and least privilege access, to dramatically reduce risk. CyberArk will extend its ability to manage and protect identities with various levels of privileges across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, enabling customers to improve their overall security posture with a more efficient and seamless user experience, and address ever-increasing and complex regulatory requirements."
Singapore-based SaaS cybersecurity startup Responsible Cyber has acquired digital identity wallet provider Secucial, also based in Singapore, for S$7 million (approximately US$4.9 million). ComputerWeekly says the purchase will allow Responsible Cyber to offer access control management on its Immune cybersecurity platform.
Missouri-based private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners (TSCP) has acquired Wisconsin-based encryption and data compression company PKWARE for an undisclosed amount. TSCP's Director Brandon Muirhead stated, "PKWARE is uniquely positioned as a trusted provider of best-in-class, automated data security solutions. We are thrilled to partner with the Company to support the growth of the Smartcrypt product."
Utah-based certificate and key management company Venafi is acquiring London-headquartered Kubernetes startup Jetstack. Jetstack's CTO and co-founder Matt Bates stated in a blog post, "Jetstack will continue to operate independently, backed by Venafi. We will now accelerate our plans and that means growing our field and product engineering teams, and contributing more to the open source community. More engineering and support to the cert-manager project itself, but also working with projects across the ecosystem on open source and open standards. We will look at open governance of our projects and attract a broad and diverse set of stakeholders and contributors."
Palo Alto, California-headquartered VMware will acquire Sunnyvale, California-based Kubernetes security startup Octarine. VMware stated that "Octarine will enable VMware Carbon Black Cloud to secure applications running in Kubernetes. VMware has invested heavily in helping our customers build new modern applications as well as modernize existing applications with our acquisitions of Pivotal, Bitnami and Heptio in recent years. As important as it is to help our customers increase developer productivity, security and operations still matter. Our acquisition of Octarine will help our customer to further protect their modern apps from build to run."
Investments and exits.
San Francisco-based cyber insurance company Coalition has raised $90 million in a Series C round led by Valor Equity Partners, with participation from Felicis Ventures, Greyhound Capital, and all of Coalition's existing investors. The funding will be used to target three areas: first, Coalition will provide free cybersecurity capabilities to small and midsize businesses; second, the company will begin expanding globally, beginning with Canada; and third, Coalition "plans to develop additional insurance products to address a new range of threats technology brings to both tangible and intangible assets — many of which are not well covered by traditional insurance policies."
Israeli cyber range platform provider Cyberbit, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, received a $70 million investment from Charlesbank Capital Partners, with participation from existing investor Claridge Israel. $22 million went to Cyberbit, while $48 million "was paid in consideration of a portion of Elbit Systems' shares in Cyberbit," and Elbit is now a minority shareholder in Cyberbit. According to AiThority, Cyberbit will "use the funding to accelerate the development of its cyber range product and to grow global sales and marketing to meet the increasing demand for its product."
Tel Aviv-based cloud container security startup Aqua Security has raised $30 million in a Series D round led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from existing investors Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and TLV Partners. Aqua's CEO and co-founder Dror Davidoff stated that "with this significant new investment from Greenspring Associates, I feel confident in our ability to drive further innovation across our product portfolio and sustain the competitive advantage we have worked hard to establish."
Palo Alto, California-based cyberattack detection and response platform provider Confluera has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Icon Ventures, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, John W. Thompson, and Lane Bess. Confluera's CEO and co-founder Abhijit Ghosh stated, "We have raised this round to accelerate the delivery of the industry’s first Autonomous Detection and Response platform, and build out our go-to market efforts."
Source Defense, an Israeli client-side web security company focused on preventing Magecart and formjacking attacks, has raised $10.5 million in a Series A+ round led by Capital One Ventures, with participation from existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners, AllegisCyber, Global Brain, and NightDragon. Source Defense says it will use the funding "to accelerate growth and enhance its patented VICE Client-side Web Security Platform to align with the growing demand in the market."
Fortress Information Security has hired senior compliance manager Michael Bailey to work "with clients supporting their third-party risk management and supply chain security concerns." Bailey previously worked for Ernst & Young's utility cybersecurity practice.
RunSafe Security is launching a new technical advisory board, with Dr. Gary McGraw, co-founder of the Berryville Institute of Machine Learning, as the board's chairman. Also joining the board are Dr. Avi Rubin, a Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University; John N. Stewart, former Senior Vice President and Chief Security & Trust Officer at Cisco and current board director for ReFirm Labs and SpyCloud; Michael Wellman, founder and CEO of Virgil Security; and Dr. Laurie Williams, a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University.
Telos Corporation has added General (Ret) Keith Alexander as the inaugural member of its advisory board. General Alexander was the first commander of USCYBERCOM and is the founder and co-CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity.
Sumo Logic has added Sandra Bergeron to its board of directors. Bergeron currently serves on the boards of F5 and Qualys, and has previously served on the boards of ArcSight, Netegrity, Nuance, Sophos, Tipping Point, Trace Security, and Tricipher.
Security companies in the news.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) confirmed on Friday that it will build a $12 billion chip factory in Arizona "with the mutual understanding and commitment to support from the U.S. federal government and the State of Arizona." Construction will begin next year, with production slated to begin in 2024. The company stated that the facility will "have a 20,000 semiconductor wafer per month capacity, create over 1,600 high-tech professional jobs directly, and thousands of indirect jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem....This project is of critical, strategic importance to a vibrant and competitive U.S. semiconductor ecosystem that enables leading U.S. companies to fabricate their cutting-edge semiconductor products within the United States and benefit from the proximity of a world-class semiconductor foundry and ecosystem."
Also on Friday, in a move that WIRED believes may have been coordinated, the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that it was amending its foreign-produced direct product rule to block Huawei from purchasing chips produced by international companies that contain US technology. The BIS states that "Huawei has continued to use U.S. software and technology to design semiconductors, undermining the national security and foreign policy purposes of the Entity List by commissioning their production in overseas foundries using U.S. equipment." The rule change also applies to TSMC, and Nikkei reports that the Taiwanese company has stopped taking new orders from Huawei, which is its second-largest customer after Apple.
And security innovation.
Mastercard and Enel have partnered with the Government of Israel and the Israel Innovation Authority to launch an innovation lab for cybersecurity startups in Be'er Sheva, Smart Energy reports. The lab will receive around $3.7 million of government funding. Mastercard's President of Cyber and Intelligence Ajay Bhalla stated, "This new collaboration will allow us to draw from many partners and resources – including Israel’s renowned start-up economy – to help bring innovations to market even faster and reduce the growing threat and cost of cyberattacks."