At a glance.
- Oracle expresses interest TikTok acquisition.
- Palantir plans to go public in September.
- Federal CISO Grant Schneider moves to private sector.
- Tech giants lay their own undersea cables.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Vancouver-based health tech company WELL Health Technologies has acquired the Services Division of Toronto-based offensive cybersecurity company Cycura for CA$2.55 million, BetaKit reports. WELL's press release states that it "is retaining the Cycura brand name and the formation of a new business unit called Cycura Data Protection Corp. ("Cycura"). This new business unit will be led by Iain Paterson, who was previously the Managing Director of Cycura Inc. and will be the CEO of Cycura going forward. Iain will be supported closely by Melinda Coultar who was the Director of Consulting at Cycura Inc., and will now see an elevated role serving as Vice President of Services."
As the US establishes a deadline for ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok, other companies besides Microsoft and Twitter are showing signs of interest in an acquisition. Computing reports that Oracle is the latest company to sniff at TikTok, and that Oracle probably amounts to Microsoft's most serious rival. According to a story in the BBC, President Trump said he thought Oracle would be "a great company" to acquire TikTok's US operation.
Investments and exits.
Bloomberg reports that Palantir is planning to go public in late September through a direct listing of its shares. Bloomberg explains that a "direct listing would allow the company’s current investors to sell their shares on the first day of trading rather than having to wait for a lock-up period to expire, as would be required in a traditional initial public offering. Unlike an IPO, though, the company doesn’t raise capital in a direct listing."
Chicago-based password manager provider Keeper Security has secured a $60 million minority investment from Insight Partners, Crunchbase News reports. This is Keeper's first equity raise. The company plans to use the funding "to accelerate product innovation and global sales for its identity and access management solutions." Thomas Krane, Principal at Insight Partners, is joining Keeper's Board of Directors.
Texas-based fraud detection and prevention company SpyCloud has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by Centana Growth Partners, with participation from existing investors M12, Altos Ventures, Silverton Partners, and March Capital Partners, Crunchbase News reports. The company will use the funding "to grow its product, engineering, and sales teams domestically and abroad, as well as build new ways to detect and prevent fraud." Crunchbase says, "The company has 70 employees with a goal of adding 30 new people, such as machine learning developers, data scientists and go-to-market experts." As part of the deal, Eric Byunn, a Partner at Centana Growth, has joined SpyCloud's board.
New York City-based threat intelligence company Cyware has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Mercato Partners's Prelude Fund and Tanium, with participation from its seed investors, Emerald Development Managers and Great Road Holdings. The company says it "will use the funding to expand its sales and marketing teams, double down on customer success, and continue use case innovation and product enhancements to its situational awareness platform (CSAP), threat intelligence eXchange (CTIX), security orchestration layer (CSOL) and fusion and threat response (CFTR)."
CyberScoop reports that Grant Schneider is leaving his post as Federal Chief Information Security Officer at the US Office of Management and Budget. He'll take a position as a Senior Director of Cybersecurity Services at the DC office of Venable LLP. It's not clear yet who will succeed him as Federal CISO. Venable has also hired D. Reed Freeman as a partner in its e-commerce, privacy, and cybersecurity practice, Reuters reports. Freeman was previously co-chair of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr's cybersecurity and privacy practice.
Trinity Cyber has appointed Thomas P. Bossert as President. Bossert had previously been Trinity's Chief Strategy Officer. He also serves as ABC News's national security analyst and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Before moving to the private sector, he had served as White House homeland security advisor, effectively the US chief risk officer.
CACI International has hired Todd Probert as president of CACI's national security and innovative solutions group, Washington Technology reports. Probert was previously president of CAE's defense and security group.
CyVision Technologies has added Paul Goldenberg and John “Jack” Donohue to its board of advisors. Goldenberg is chairman and president of Cardinal Point Strategies, while Donohue is Cardinal Point's senior advisor of national security.
Companies in the news.
The Telegraph has an account of how high-tech giants, including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, are pushing to lay their own undersea fiber-optic cables rather than relying on third-party telecommunications companies. Google is already laying privately owned cables between the US and France, Spain, Chile, and the UK. Facebook plans to lay its own cable between the US and Africa by 2024. Facebook has also worked with Microsoft to lay a high-capacity cable between the US and Spain. Taking control of the cables allows the companies to drastically shorten the timeframe of deployment, but the Telegraph says the centralization of Internet traffic and infrastructure will likely lead to privacy and security debates in the future.