Is BlackBerry about to buy Cylance for $1.5B?

Is BlackBerry about to buy Cylance for $1.5B?

Cylance develops AI-based products to prevent cyber attacks

John Chen - CEO, BlackBerry

John Chen - CEO, BlackBerry

Credit: BlackBerry

BlackBerry is in talks to buy cyber security company Cylance for as much as $1.5 billion, Business Insider has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Cylance develops AI-based products to prevent cyber attacks on companies and recently considered filing for an IPO.

A deal could be announced as soon as this week, Business Insider reported citing sources, who cautioned the deal could still fall apart.

The speculation comes four months after Cylance closed a US$120 million funding round led by funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and including other investors.

The financing enables the vendor to continue its “rapid global expansion” while extending its portfolio of cyber security solutions.

Specifically, the new funding will bolster the company’s sales, marketing and development efforts to increase market share, further expand its global footprint across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and extend its breadth of product offerings.

“Blackstone was an early believer in Cylance’s approach of applying AI to prevent one of the most difficult issues businesses face today - cyber attacks that disrupt operations and damage reputations,” said Viral Patel, senior managing director of tactical opportunities at Blackstone.

The business reported annual revenues over US$130 million for fiscal year 2018, over 90 per cent year-over-year growth, and more than 4,000 customers, including over 20 per cent of the Fortune 500.

“We have demonstrated market success, scale and traction,” said Brian Robins, CFO at Cylance. “The investment supports our growth strategy and will enable us to continue on the path to becoming cash flow positive.”

BlackBerry and Cylance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Additional reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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