BlackBerry has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly acquire Cylance, a specialist in the spheres of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security, for US$1.4 billion in cash, plus the assumption of unvested employee incentive awards. This will be BlackBerry’s biggest-ever acquisition deal.
Pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close prior to the end of BlackBerry’s current fiscal year in February 2019.
“Cylance’s leadership in AI and cyber security will immediately complement our entire portfolio, so we’re very excited to on-board the team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. “We believe that adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realising the Enterprise of Things.”
BlackBerry Spark is a next generation secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the Enterprise of Things that will create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.
According to Gartner in its most recent Internet of Things Backbone Survey, security was cited as the top barrier to IoT success (35%), with privacy concerns (25%) and potential risks and liabilities (25%) also in the Top Five.
Cylance is a pioneer in applying AI, algorithmic science and machine learning to cyber security software that has proven highly effective at predicting and preventing known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints. Founded in 2012, the fast-growing business generates highly recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500.
“Our highly-skilled cyber security workforce and market leadership in next generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach,” explained Stuart McClure, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cylance. “We’re extremely eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths in order to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”