At a glance.
- TikTok's current situation (with notes on WeChat).
- Snowflake's IPO.
- Former NCSC director Ciaran Martin enters private sector.
- Forescout appoints Greg Clark as CEO.
- Innovation and opportunities for cyber startups.
Mergers and acquisitions.
US bans on transactions involving TikTok and WeChat scheduled for Sunday didn't happen. The Commerce Department postponed the TikTok ban for a week "In light of recent positive developments," and a US judge has granted a temporary injunction stopping action against WeChat, CNBC reports.
Ars Technica summarizes TikTok's current situation. As it stands now, ByteDance will spin off TikTok's operations in the US and most other countries to form a new company, TikTok Global, which will be based in the US. Oracle will hold a 12.5% stake in TikTok Global, Walmart will own 7.5%, and ByteDance will hold 80%. Since approximately 40% of ByteDance is owned by US investors, proponents of the transaction argue that about 53% of TikTok Global will technically be controlled by US investors. TikTok Global will also aim for an IPO by the end of 2021.
However, there seems to be disagreement about who will actually own the new company. Oracle's Executive Vice President Ken Glueck stated Monday, "Upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority, and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global." ByteDance, however, says TikTok Global will be a wholly-owned subsidiary in which Oracle and Walmart will hold minority stakes.
Regardless of who owns TikTok Global, Axios believes the end result of the deal will grant the US extensive security oversight of the company. Oracle will be able to review the source code of the US version of TikTok as well as all updates, although ByteDance currently doesn't plan on giving Oracle its "algorithms and technologies." TikTok in the US will also have its own board, subject to approval by the US government, and this board will include "an independent data security expert with national security credentials." This board will apparently be separate from TikTok Global's board; Axios explains that "TikTok Global will own TikTok's operations around the world, including the U.S. operation, which will have the extra security measures and its own governance."
Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point has acquired zero-trust remote access startup Odo Security. Check Point plans to "integrate Odo Security’s technology into its Infinity architecture and SASE vision."
London-based code security company Snyk will acquire Switzerland-headquartered DeepCode, a startup that uses machine-learning to identify vulnerabilities in code. Snyk will integrate DeepCode's technology into its own platform.
Investments and exits.
San Mateo, California-based cloud data management company Snowflake went public on the New York Stock Exchange on September 16th in what CRN says "was the biggest software company IPO ever and the largest IPO so far of 2020." The company's valuation doubled to nearly $75 billion on the day of its IPO, although its stock fell somewhat after Summit Insights warned that the shares were "at risk of a violent selloff," Bloomberg reports. Mario Gabriele at Marker is judiciously optimistic about Snowflake's future, noting that the company is now competing with Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
North Carolina-based cloud security company JupiterOne has raised $19 million in a Series A round led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Rain Capital and LifeOmic, Pulse 2.0 reports. TechCrunch says the company plans to use the funding "to accelerate its engineering efforts and its go-to-market strategy, with new product features to come."
TechCrunch notes that Palantir has issued yet another amendment to its S-1 filing with the SEC, removing all mentions of "Stockholder Party Excluded Shares," as well as a line about the company's founders being able to "unilaterally adjust their total voting power."
Paladin Capital Group has appointed Ciaran Martin, the first CEO of the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), as its managing director. According to the Guardian, Martin will continue to teach management of public services at the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government.
Forescout has appointed Greg Clark, former CEO of Symantec, as its new CEO, effective October 1st, CRN reports. Forescout's current President and CEO Mike DeCesare will serve as co-chair of the company's board alongside Clark.
Infinite Group, Inc. (IGI) has appointed Don Reeve as Chairman of the Board and Andrew Hoyen as President. Reeve formerly served as SVP and Chief Information Officer for Wegmans Food Markets. Hoyen is currently IGI's Chief Operating Officer, and he'll continue in that role while he serves as President.
Omada has hired Lisa Berg Rydsbo as Chief Marketing Officer, Rod Simmons as Vice President of Product Strategy, Elaine Jones as Global Director of Channel Partners, and Liz Imrie as Global Director of Digital Sales. Rydsbo has previously held marketing roles at HP Software; Simmons was most recently Vice President of Product Strategy at Stealthbits Technologies; Jones has previously held sales roles at CA Technologies, Vodafone, and Hewlett Packard; Imrie most recently served as Global Inside Sales Operations Director at Securonix.
Exostar has hired Tony Farinaro as Chief Revenue Officer and Sudeep Dharan as Chief Technology Officer. Farinaro was previously Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Professional Services at CollabNet (now digital.ai), while Dharan was most recently Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Acendre.
Duos Technologies Group has appointed Charles "Chuck" Ferry as its new CEO, while the company's former CEO and founder Gianni Arcaini will continue to serve on Duos's board of directors. Ferry most recently served as CEO of APR Energy, and has held executive positions at Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics's ARMA Global Corporation.
SolarWinds has added Dennis Howard to its board of directors. Howard is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Charles Schwab & Co.'s Schwab Technology Services.
Innovation and opportunity.
DataTribe, the Maryland-based cybersecurity investor and incubator, has announced its third annual DataTribe Challenge, an opportunity for startups in the sector to compete for up to $2 million in seed capital. Three finalists split a $20 thousand prize, and one winner gets the $2 million in seed funding. Applications are due by October 30th.
Cybersecurity awareness training company NINJIO has partnered with the International Association of Security Awareness Professionals (IASAP) to observe Cybersecurity Month with a storyteller's competition, their Submit Your Story Contest. Entries are due by October 5th; true stories only, please.