BlackBerry Limited this week today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, for $1.4 billion in cash. Reportedly, the smartphone maker will also assume the unvested employee incentive awards. Pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close before to the end of BlackBerry’s current fiscal year (February 2019), said the company in an official statement.
John Chen, executive chairman and CEO at BlackBerry, said, “Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise. We believe 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.”
Studies have showcased that security is one of the top barriers 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 cybersecurity software that has proven highly effective at predicting and preventing known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints. The fast-growing company has become a market leader with an advanced and lightweight agent that resides on the endpoint, operates both online and off, and requires a minimum of memory and power to function. Founded in 2012, Cylance generates highly recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500.
Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance, said in a statement, “Our highly skilled cybersecurity 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. We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”