Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division has acquired White Ops, a bot mitigation company. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that was done in partnership with ClearSky Security and NightDragon. The sellers include Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–White Ops (“White Ops” or the “Company”), a global leader in protecting enterprises and internet platforms from digital fraud and abuse, today announced its acquisition by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, in partnership with ClearSky Security and NightDragon (together, the “Sponsors”). The Sponsors are acquiring the business from previous investors Paladin Capital Group, Grotech Ventures, and other shareholders, and the acquisition follows Goldman Sachs’ and ClearSky’s initial investment in the Company earlier this year. The acquisition has formally closed and terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition will support White Ops in its next phase of growth and further accelerate its expansion into new markets. The Company’s core focus is to protect enterprises from sophisticated bot attacks and fraud across the domains of cybersecurity, digital advertising, and marketing, serving some of the largest enterprises and internet platforms. This year, as more companies moved to digital, White Ops was called upon on behalf of its customers to verify the humanity of more than 10 trillion interactions per week and growing, providing an incredibly broad and deep platform to stop nefarious activity across the internet. The company grew the number of customers it serves by 40% and employees of the company grew by 25% to 170.
“Goldman Sachs, ClearSky, and NightDragon are ideal partners to support the next phase of the Company’s evolution and growth across multiple markets, use cases and geographies,” said Tamer Hassan, CEO and co-founder of White Ops. “Their continued support of our mission to disrupt the economics of cybercrime, global network of relationships, and market expertise provides a very strong foundation to execute on our vision to enable collective protection for the internet.”
“We have been very pleased with the Company’s performance since our initial investment and we’re delighted to build on our current partnership, especially as White Ops continues to benefit from consumers’ shift to digital and clients increasingly require protection,” said Anthony Arnold, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. “We look forward to supporting management in their next phase of growth.”
“White Ops’ highly differentiated technology platform and scaled signal collection footprint helps its clients protect against a wide range of sophisticated fraud types,” said Matthew Popper, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. “We look forward to working with management and our partners at ClearSky and NightDragon to accelerate the Company’s expansion into new markets.”
“As fraud and abuse become increasingly prevalent across the digital ecosystem, enterprises and internet platforms require sophisticated threat protection now more than ever. White Ops has proven that it can stop fraud and abuse at tremendous scale,” said Jay Leek, Managing Partner of ClearSky. “We have spent a lot of time with their leadership team over the past year and have been impressed with the strength and quality of their platform. We look forward to partnering to continue to build on the Company’s leadership position in the industry.”
“Through our experience in engaging with hundreds of enterprises and their cybersecurity teams, we know that automated attacks on applications creating fraud and abuse is a critical point of risk to every security and marketing team,” said Dave DeWalt, Founder and Managing Director at NightDragon. “We look forward to partnering with the team at White Ops to help clients across a range of industries.”
In addition to representatives from Goldman Sachs, Jay Leek will join the Board of Directors representing ClearSky and Dave DeWalt will join the Board of Directors representing NightDragon and serve as Vice Chairman of the Company.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to White Ops. Legal counsel was provided to White Ops by Cooley LLP.
The Sponsors were advised by Momentum Cyber. Legal counsel was provided to the Sponsors by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Bad actors with millions of sophisticated bots at their disposal cause fraud at the rate of tens of billions of dollars a year against companies across the globe. These sophisticated bots live on consumer and enterprise devices, sharing browsing history and habits with real humans, which makes them especially difficult to detect. White Ops’ multilayered detection methodology, advanced algorithms, Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team, and massive scale can detect and prevent these automated attacks at every level of sophistication, protecting customers’ sensitive data, reputation, compliance, bottom line and customer experience as they grow their digital business. These capabilities enabled White Ops to play a leading role in taking down 3ve, one of the largest fraud botnets to date, through collective protection and bringing together the largest private sector collaboration in history, including the FBI, Google, Facebook and many others in the industry. White Ops also recently uncovered ICEBUCKET, the largest and widest Connected TV (CTV) related fraud operation. In addition, White Ops recently announced availability of its products in the AWS Cloud Marketplace and the Snowflake Data Marketplace to provide customers even more ways to access the Company’s platform.
White Ops’ Fraud Mitigation Platform solves top cybersecurity pain points through its product offerings:
Application Integrity – Protects sites and applications from digital fraud and abuse including account takeover attacks, new account fraud, fraudulent transactions and sensitive content scraping, preventing costly fraud losses while preserving user privacy and frictionless digital experiences.
Marketing Integrity – Protects digital marketing investments from fraud and abuse including paid media, lead generation, and retargeting, preventing fraudulent traffic from entering marketing platforms to ensure efficiency and boost ROI.
Advertising Integrity – Protects digital media and advertising from fraud and abuse within desktop, mobile, and CTV environments for trusted inventory and human-only impressions for more effective advertising.
To learn more about White Ops’ perspective on how this investment further advances their mission, read this blog post from CEO and co-founder Tamer Hassan: https://www.whiteops.com/blog/our-next-chapter
About White Ops
White Ops is a cybersecurity company that collectively protects global enterprises and internet platforms from digital fraud and abuse. We verify the humanity of more than 10 trillion interactions per week protecting our customers sensitive data, reputation, compliance, bottom line and customer experience as they grow their digital business. To learn more visit www.whiteops.com
About Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division
Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD) is the primary center for the firm’s long-term principal investing activity. MBD is one of the leading private capital investors in the world with investments across private equity, infrastructure, private debt, growth equity and real estate.
ClearSky is a venture capital/growth equity firm that has been operating since 2012 with offices across the United States. ClearSky invests in companies that offer transformative security solutions with a specific focus on cybersecurity, critical infrastructure security, privacy, data governance and compliance. The firm’s world-class dedicated security team has a proven track record with over 60 years of security investing and practitioner experience. ClearSky also has a highly distinguished advisory board consisting of diverse business leaders and a Fortune 500 CISO Board of Advisors that is unmatched in the industry. For more information, visit http://clear-sky.com/
NightDragon is an investment firm focused on investing in growth and late-stage companies within the cybersecurity industry. Its flexible model allows it to lead or co-invest alongside leading venture capital and private equity firms in the pursuit of driving growth and increasing shareholder value. NightDragon is unique in providing deep operational expertise in cybersecurity gained by its founders Dave DeWalt and Ken Gonzalez from years serving as senior executives leading technology companies such as Documentum, EMC, Siebel Systems (Oracle), McAfee, Mandiant, Avast, and FireEye. For more information, visit www.NightDragon.com.