F5 Networks has acquired Shape Security in a billion-dollar deal designed to strengthen capabilities across multi-cloud, applications and security.
The all-cash transaction - expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2020 - sees the vendor take control of the US-based business which was founded in 2011.
Shape considers banks, airlines, retailers and government agencies as key customers, through the delivery of “sophisticated bot, fraud and abuse defence” solutions.
The business defends against “credential stuffing attacks”, where cyber criminals use stolen passwords from third-party data breaches to take over other online accounts. In response, Shape has built a platform utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, supported by cloud-based analytics.
“We know from the companies we work with that applications are critical to running their business,” said François Locoh-Donou, president and CEO, F5. “To drive maximum business value and the best experiences for their customers, these apps need to perform flawlessly while protecting data security and user privacy.
“When a website or application experience is degraded by web fraud and abuse, the result is lost revenue, lost brand equity, and customers jumping ship to the competition.”
According to Locoh-Donou, the acquisition brings together F5’s expertise in protecting applications across multi-cloud environments with Shape’s fraud and abuse prevention capabilities in application security.
“With Shape, we will deliver end-to-end application protection, which means revenue generating, brand-anchoring applications are protected from the point at which they are created through to the point where consumers interact with them - from code to customer,” Locoh-Donou added.
“Beyond opening a fast-growing $4 billion adjacent market, Shape’s machine learning and AI-powered capabilities will scale and extend F5’s broad portfolio of application services and expand our ability to optimise and protect customers’ applications in an increasingly complex multi-cloud world.”
Upon closing of the acquisition, Derek Smith - co-founder and CEO of Shape - and the leadership team will join F5 in "key management roles".
“Since Shape’s inception, we observed a consistent pattern in customer after customer: the use of F5 technology to deliver and enable their applications,” Smith said. “Now, we look forward to the opportunity to deeply integrate into F5’s platform for application delivery and security - F5 provides the optimum traffic flow insertion point for Shape’s industry-leading online fraud and abuse prevention solutions.
“This, combined with F5’s global go-to-market scale, means we can jointly protect significantly more customers’ applications and users from sophisticated attacks and malicious traffic.”