Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
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BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity Cylance startup for $1.4 billion in cash

BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity Cylance startup for $1.4 billion in cash

Cylance will keep on working as a different specialty unit after the arrangement closes, BlackBerry said. It has raised $327 million in venture-capital funding, according to PitchBook, and was recently considering filing for an initial public offering, several sources told Business Insider.

WATERLOO, Ont. and IRVINE, Calif. - November 16, 2018 - BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity leader, for USA $1.4 billion in cash, plus the assumption of unvested employee incentive awards.

"This is the largest acquisition in BlackBerry's history", said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of the company, during a conference call. The US company makes security software and is a specialist in the use of artificial intelligence, algorithmic science and machine learning.

The Canadian technology organization, which commanded the smartphone showcase 10 years prior, has moved to pitching programming to oversee smartphones, and in addition rising territories like autonomous cars.

The acquisition helps solidify BlackBerry's shift away from its past life as a smartphone company to software and security services, including its QNX business, which is focused on the automotive sector.

Cylance CEO and Co-Founder
Cylance CEO and Co-Founder

The company has over 3,500 enterprise companies and recent reports suggest Cylance had been considering a stock market float.

He said Cylance offers BlackBerry a mathematical approach to cybersecurity because it uses artificial intelligence prediction and computers trained to process million and millions of files and tasks to uncover the DNA of attacks and prevent them. The deal is expected to close before the end of the company's current fiscal year in February 2019, pending regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

BlackBerry Spark is a next-generation secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the EoT that will create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.

According to a Gartner survey, security is the top barrier to IoT success while privacy concerns and potential risks and liabilities are cited as major concerns. "Signatures don't work", said Cylance co-founder and CEO Stuart McClure.

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