6 PE-backed cybersecurity deals in May, as demand accelerates

On the heels of Vista's big take-private deal for KnowBe4, PE investors in cybersecurity include Crosspoint Capital, Centerbridge, Summit and Enlightenment.

As cybersecurity threats proliferate, the companies defending against them continue to attract private equity. Witness Vista Equity Partners’$4.6 billion take-private deal for cybersecurity training specialist KnowBe4, which closed on February 1.

Since then, the pace of dealmaking within the space has quickened, especially in the mid-market. In the month of May alone, PE Hub has identified 6 deal announcements, with 3 of them coming from portfolio companies of Enlightenment Capital.

Here are the details on the May deals, starting with a take-private transaction.

1. Crosspoint Capital to take Absolute Software private in $870m deal

Menlo Park, California-based Crosspoint Capital Partners agreed to take Vancouver-based Absolute Software private for $870 million, including debt. The target is focused on cybersecurity services for devices, data, and security controls.

“In the modern remote and hybrid work environment, maintaining device integrity and protection is more difficult than ever,” said Greg Clark, managing partner of Crosspoint, in a statement. “We are impressed with how Absolute has built upon its asset visibility and control heritage and expanded into solutions that provide endpoint resilience and the reliable access needed in today’s hybrid work environments.”

2. Centerbridge Partners joins TA and Updata in backing Netwrix

New York-based Centerbridge Partners made an investment in Netwrix, a Frisco, Texas-based cybersecurity vendor, joining Boston-headquartered majority shareholder TA Associates and minority shareholder Updata Partners, a Washington DC-based firm.

“Netwrix has continually demonstrated its ability to innovate and identify software that best addresses the complex data security challenges facing enterprises today,” said Jared Hendricks, senior managing director at Centerbridge and Chris Litchford, managing director at Centerbridge, in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023.

3. Summit Partners backs Keeper Security

Summit Partners, a Boston based PE firm focusing on investments in technology, healthcare and other growth industries, made a minority investment in Keeper Security, a Chicago-based developer of cybersecurity software.

“While the current economic environment has led to a contraction in many areas of technology investment, the demand for secure and accessible cybersecurity solutions continues to accelerate,” said Len Ferrington, managing director at Summit Partners, in a statement.

Keeper was co-founded in 2011 by CEO Darren Guccione and CTO Craig Lurey. Keeper Security’s existing backer is New York based-Insight Partners.

4. Enlightenment Capital portfolio company Agile Defense buys XOR Security

Agile Defense, a Reston, Virginia-based portfolio company of Washington, DC-based Enlightenment, earlier this week  announced the acquisition of XOR Security, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia.

Founded in 2013, XOR Security provides cybersecurity services to federal government, civilian, law enforcement, national security and commercial customers.

“XOR brings expertise in network defense, zero trust architecture, managed detection and advanced threat response,” said Devin Talbott, Enlightenment founder and managing partner, in a statement.

5. Enlightment-backed iNovex picks up INNOPLEX

iNovex, another portfolio company of Enlightenment, agreed to acquire INNOPLEX, a Columbia, Maryland-based company.

iNovex focuses on cybersecurity, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), data analysis and robotic process automation for the intelligence community, while INNOPLEX offers complementary services including cybersecurity and SIGINT.

6. Enlightenment’s Boecore buys La Jolla Logic

Also backed by Enlightenment, Boecore acquired La Jolla Logic, a San Diego-based provider of cybersecurity, software development and artificial intelligence/machine learning services.

Watch this space: PE Hub expects more cybersecurity deals are coming.