BlackBerry on Friday announced that it has agreed to acquire next-generation endpoint security firm Cylance for US $1.4 billion in cash.
In addition to the cash payment, BlackBerry will assume unvested Cylance employee incentive awards.
The deal is expected to close before the end of BlackBerry’s current fiscal year (February 2019), and Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry.
Cylance, which has raised nearly $300 million in funding, currently has more than 4,000 customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500. The company previously said that it had annual revenues over $130 million for fiscal year 2018, and over 90% year-over-year growth.
Cylance’s flagship endpoint security product, CylancePROTECT, takes a mathematical and machine learning approach to identifying and containing zero day and advanced attacks. The company has been utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning as part of its core marketing message since the company was founded in 2012.
“We plan on immediately expanding the capabilities across BlackBerry’s ‘chip-to-edge’ portfolio, including QNX, our safety-certified embedded OS that is deployed in more than 120 million vehicles, robot dogs, medical devices, and more,” a BlackBerry company spokesperson told SecurityWeek. “Over time, we plan to integrate Cylance technology with our Spark platform, which is at the center of our strategy to ensure data flowing between endpoints (in a car, business, or smart city) is secured, private, and trusted.”
BlackBerry describes Spark as a secure chip-to-edge communications platform “designed for ultra-security and industry-specific safety-certifications, such as ISO 26262 in automobiles.”
In early 2018, BlackBerry launched Jarvis, a cybersecurity service designed to help companies in the automotive and other sectors find vulnerabilities in their software.
BlackBerry also offers VPN and identity and access solutions to help enterprises securely connect employees and help them access the corporate information and systems.
The acquisition of Cylance is not BlackBerry’s first in the security space—but is its largest acquisition to-date.
In April 2015, BlackBerry announced that it would acquire WatchDox, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of enterprise solutions to access, share and protect sensitive documents.
In September 2015 BlackBerry agreed to acquire secure mobility solutions provider Good Technology for $425 million in cash.
Shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE: BB) are trading down 1.24% in pre-market trading at the time of publishing, at $8.75 per share.