BlackBerry is to 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, used in autonomous cars.
After the transaction closes, Cylance will operate as an independent business unit within BlackBerry. Cylance’s endpoint detection software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to do tasks like attack analysis, threat hunting, and incident response. Former McAfee veterans founded the startup in 2012 and closed a $120 million funding round in June, bringing its total revenue raised to $297 million.
At the time, the vendor said its revenues will exceed $130 million for the fiscal year 2018. The company claims more than 90 percent year-over-year growth, and it counts more than 3,500 active enterprise customers, including over 20 percent of the Fortune 500.
In a year when hundreds of millions in initial public offerings (IPOs) are raised by security startups — including the Cylance competitor Carbon Black that scored $152 million in its May IPO — it was broadly assumed Cylance would follow suit. Instead, it will be folded into BlackBerry.
According to Stuart McClure, CEO and co-founder, Cylance, the company’s workforce, and endpoint technology are a “perfect fit” for Blackberry. The company is eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt their advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.
After Blackberry stopped making mobile phones in 2016, it started moving into the enterprise software market with a prime focus on security.
According to John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, the company believes adding Cylance’s capabilities to its trusted advantages in secure mobility, privacy, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.