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TA backs Veracode, as PE-backed cybersecurity deals heat up; plus, spotlight on Acon’s Anjali Jolly

PE investing in cybersecurity companies are on the rise.

Happy Friday, Hubsters. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

Last Friday, I predicted we’d see more private equity-backed cybersecurity transactions, and, indeed, this week, some new deals were announced.

Application security. Here’s one that caught my eye: TA Associates is making a significant growth investment in Veracode, while current majority stake holder Thoma Bravo is retaining a minority position.

Veracode helps companies develop more secure software, enabling them to find and fix vulnerabilities. The transaction, which values Veracode at $2.5 billion, is expected to close in the second quarter.

“What we do has never been more crucial,” said Sam King, CEO of Veracode. “The confluence of digital transformation, software supply chain complexity, and the strengthening regulatory environment places software security firmly in the spotlight.”

Said Jason Werlin, a managing director at TA Associates: “TA recognizes the strong market opportunity for Veracode, driven by the need to secure software and educate developers. We believe Veracode’s heritage and sustained leadership position, along with the breadth and depth of its portfolio, uniquely positions the company to drive the next wave of growth in the application security market.”

Cybersecurity confab. In another indication of private equity’s keen interest in cybersecurity, Crosspoint Capital bought a significant interest in RSA Conference from RSA Security. RSAC, which hosts an annual event that brings together more than 40,000 attendees, will become a standalone business. Existing RSA Security sponsors Clearlake Capital and Symphony Technology Group are also investing in the new company.

Women’s History Month. In the Wire throughout March, we’re highlighting the dealmakers PE Hub and Buyouts named Women in private equity: The class of 2022.

Today, we’re focusing on Anjali Jolly, partner, Acon Investments, profiled by Aaron.
After Harvard Business School, Jolly joined growth equity firm Perseus as a vice-president and eventually was promoted to managing director, and she became part of the investment committee, Aaron reports. Then she joined Acon in 2018 as a partner. While at Acon, Jolly has invested in three portfolio companies and sold two. Jolly says she has been fortunate to be at Acon. The three male founders are “very committed to diversity, gender and culture,” she notes, as the employee base is over 70 percent women or people from diverse backgrounds.

Jolly wants to pay it forward: “I feel a big responsibility to try and mentor young women, introduce them to the industry and try to recruit and retain them, as there is still a dearth of women in PE, in my opinion, and unless we can build up the pipeline, it isn’t going to change fast enough.”

To that end, Jolly is a member of Women Corporate Directors (WCD) and Women’s Association of Venture and Equity (WAVE). “Both of these groups have given me access to a large network of dynamic women,” she says. “It takes a while to build the pipeline, but I am encouraged that, over the last few years, there is more effort to not only recruit women to the industry but to retain them.”

For more, read the whole report, in which we profile 10 stellar dealmakers.

Works in progress. As we wrap up the week, I want to let you know about some stories we’re working on at PE Hub and invite you to reach out to us with ideas, tips and sources.

Aaron Weitzman is continuing to look for healthcare-focused PE firms to profile, as well as healthcare deals to spotlight. Email him at aaron.w@peimedia.com and check out his story on Deerfield here.

Obey Martin Manayiti, who joined our team as a reporter this week, is currently exploring PE-backed deals in logistics, especially investments in companies that aim to solve supply chain problems. Email him at obey.m@peimedia.com.

As for me, I’m always on the hunt for high-profile PE pros to interview for my Q&A series. Check out my conversation with EQT CEO Christian Sinding on his firm’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Baring Private Equity Asia and email me at mk.flynn@peimedia.com.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Until Monday,
MK