A local cybersecurity firm has a new owner—a private equity firm run by a former U.S. Secretary of Treasury.
Dallas-based Zimperium, a mobile security platform, is set to be acquired by Washington, D.C.’s Liberty Strategic Capital, a firm led by former Goldman Sachs CIO and Trump Administration appointee Steve Mnuchin, in a $525 million deal.
“There’s no question that the world is going mobile. And as that happens, modern operating systems like Android and iOS are playing a more prominent role powering the devices people use in their personal and professional lives,” said Shridhar Mittal, Zimperium CEO, in a statement. “But what many people don’t realize is that protecting these devices is much different from protecting traditional endpoints and requires a new approach.”
Potential IPO ahead
The investment represents a controlling interest in the 250-person company. Softbank will remain as a minority owner, after investing $15 million in Zimperium in 2017. Mnuchin will join the company as its new board chairman.
Zimperium said the move will help it grow organically and through strategic acquisitions. And, as VentureBeat reports, Mittal says a potential future IPO could be in the cards.
Using machine learning, Zimperium’s technology protects mobile devices and apps from known and unknown network and phishing attacks. Without disclosing specifics, the company said it has seen its annual recurring revenue grow by 53% amid a rise in cyberattacks globally. Zimperium has more than 7,000 customers, including the U.S. Department of Defense and J.P. Morgan Chase.
“Mobile devices and applications are an integral part of daily life for people around the world. They contain or serve as a gateway to the most sensitive personal and organizational data, making them an extremely valuable target for attackers,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “It’s clear that mobile is the new front line for cybersecurity. We all need to increase our focus on the protection of mobile devices and applications.”
Zimperium marks Liberty’s fifth investment
The announcement follows Zimperium’s acquisition of San Francisco-based whiteCryption, a provider of advanced application shielding and cryptographic key protection technology, for an undisclosed amount, in a move aimed at bolstering its suite of application protection solutions.
Liberty Strategic Capital was formed last year to focus on companies in the technology, financial, and content platform spaces. Its acquisition of Zimperium marks its fifth investment to-date. Earlier this year, the private equity firm invested $125 million in New York cybersecurity company BlueVoyant. Other Liberty portfolio companies include Satellogic, Contrast Security, and Cybereason.
“Liberty Strategic Capital is investing in Zimperium because they’ve shown that they can lead the way in this multibillion-dollar market,” Mnuchin said “Employees are using their own devices, driving enterprises to increasingly recognize the need for top-of-the-line cybersecurity designed for the mobile environment. As the use of mobile devices and the cyber threats against them proliferate, we believe Zimperium has positioned itself as the leader in securing mobile endpoints and applications.”
The story was updated to reflect the correct deal amount of $525 million.
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