BlackBerry buys Cylance for $1.4 bn in cybersecurity push

BlackBerry announced the acquisition of California-based machine-learning company Cylance for $1.4 billion in cash as part of the strategy to strengthen focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
BlackBerry in IoT acquisitionThe Canadian technology company, which dominated the smartphone market a decade ago, has shifted to selling software to manage mobile devices, as well as emerging areas like autonomous cars, Reuters reported.

Privately owned Cylance uses machine learning to preempt security breaches before they occur. Its applications seek to block malware or infiltration attempts rather than react after a breach.

Why Cylance

Cylance has more than 3,500 active enterprise customers globally. Founded in 2012, Cylance generates recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20 percent of the Fortune 500.

Cylance’s AI solution predicts and protects against known and unknown threats and has been deployed for 3,500+ active subscription customers and in over 15 million endpoints. The AI solution identifies threats and analyzes them before they appear – on average 25 months in advance.

BlackBerry said the acquisition will complete BlackBerry’s Spark vision with AI and next-gen endpoint cybersecurity talent and capabilities. The cybersecurity platform will protect all types of endpoints from the chip to the edge across the security lifecycle.

BlackBerry will add Cylance’s technical team of 300+ software engineers and data scientists and ~100 patents in cybersecurity and machine learning.

The acquisition will also expand BlackBerry’s TAM into $11 billion plus cybersecurity endpoint market. Cylance has efficient and complementary GTM channel across multiple industry verticals and enterprise sizes.

The acquisition of Cylance will accelerate BlackBerry’s strategy to become the leader in secure endpoint communications across the EoT.

“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will complement our entire portfolio,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement.

Cylance CEO Stuart McClure said it would be able to leverage Blackberry’s strength in mobile communications and security to adapt its AI technology.

Cylance will continue to operate as a separate business unit after the deal closes, BlackBerry said. The deal is expected to close by Feb 2019.

BlackBerry reported revenue of $210 million and operating income of $39 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

Baburajan K