BlackBerry will pay $1.4 billion in cash to acquire endpoint security unicorn Cylance. The artificial-intelligence (AI) based technology will boost BlackBerry’s endpoint management and QNX software, which is used in autonomous cars.
After the transaction closes, Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry.
Cylance’s endpoint detection software uses AI to do threat hunting, attack analysis, and incident response. Former McAfee veterans founded the startup in 2012 and closed a $120 million funding round in June, bringing its total raised to $297 million.
At the time, the vendor said its revenues will exceed $130 million for fiscal year 2018. The company claims over 90 percent year-over-year growth, and it counts more than 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20 percent of the Fortune 500.
In a year when security startups are raising hundreds of millions in initial public offerings — including Cylance competitor Carbon Black that scored $152 million in its May IPO — it was widely assumed Cylance would follow suit.
Instead, it will be folded into BlackBerry.
Cylance CEO and co-founder Stuart McClure said his company’s workforce and endpoint technology are a “perfect fit” for Blackberry. “We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform,” McClure said in a statement.
Spark IoT Platform
After it stopped making mobile phones in 2016, BlackBerry started moving into the enterprise software market with a focus on security.
“We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry in a statement.
Spark is BlackBerry’s IoT platform with built-in encryption to secure data on devices, across the mobile network, and into a company’s infrastructure.
Security remains a major concern with the proliferation of connected devices. According to Gartner in its most recent Internet of Things Backbone Survey, security was cited as the top barrier to IoT success (35 percent), with privacy concerns (25 percent), and potential risks and liabilities (25 percent) also in the top five.