Cyber security, AI and cloud deal roundup, CIOSEA News, ETCIO SEA
The month of October again saw quite a few investments in cloud, data, and AI startups. Notable among them was Automation Anywhere, Inc., a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), securing $200 million in financing from Silicon Valley Bank, SVB Capital, and Hercules Capital, Inc.
Meanwhile, the trend of private equity firms scooping up technology companies whose shares have taken a beating this year continued with KnowBe4 Inc agreeing to go private in a sweetened $4.6 billion deal with Vista Equity Partners, the latest cybersecurity firm to be snapped up by private equity in this year’s market downturn. In another billion dollar deal, ForgeRock, a global digital identity leader, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion.
Here’s a quick look at some of the funding deals and acquisitions that transpired in October in the cloud, data, and AI space.
RPA leader Automation Anywhere raises $200 Mn in funding
Automation Anywhere, Inc. , a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), secured $200 million in financing from Silicon Valley Bank, SVB Capital, and Hercules Capital, Inc.. The financing is intended to provide operational and strategic capital for the next several years.
Security startup Arctic Wolf raises $401 million in convertible debt
Cybersecurity company Arctic Wolf raised $401 million in convertible notes led by existing investor Owl Rock, the latest example of late-stage startups seeking alternative financing to bridge the longer-than-expected gap between funding rounds and an initial public offering (IPO). The fundraising, in which Viking Global Investors, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Neuberger Berman also participated, will help the company to bolster its balance sheet and fund potential acquisitions.
Singapore-based insurtech bolttech secures Series B investment
Bolttech, one of the world’s fastest growing international insurtech companies, announced Tokio Marine, alongside other shareholders, will lead bolttech’s Series B funding round. The investment values bolttech, Singapore’s only homegrown insurtech unicorn, at an up-round valuation of approximately US$1.5 billion, one year after it closed the largest ever Series A funding round for an insurtech.
WATI (WhatsApp Team Inbox) raises $23M in series B, powering WhatsApp for businesses in SEA
WATI (WhatsApp Team Inbox), a customer and sales engagement tool, announced a $23M series B funding, led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India & Southeast Asia, as well as new investors DST Global Partners and Shopify. This marks Shopify’s first venture investment in a startup operating in the Southeast Asia region. The series B comes hot on the heels of a $8.3M series A round 10 months ago; in total, WATI has raised over $35M since 2020. WATI plans to use the Series B funds to scale the teams, product enhancement, and expand the customer base in India and key markets.
Toku announces extension of Series A funding to $10M to accelerate APAC growth
Toku, Asia Pacific’s (APAC) dedicated cloud communications provider, announced a US$5 million extension of its Series A round, bringing its total funding to US$10 million. The extended round was co-led by Delivery Hero Ventures and Malaysia’s OSK Ventures International with participation from Betatron Venture Group. Toku will tap on the new funding extension to rapidly establish local presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines. It also aims to double its total headcount to a strength of 200 by 2024.
ATS acquires APAC based system integrator ZI-ARGUS
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ZI-ARGUS (“ZIA”), a subsidiary of Zuellig Group. ZIA is a leading independent automation Systems Integrator in the ASEAN region and Australia, with a strong focus on process control, factory floor automation, data center and Industry 4.0 digitisation solutions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ZIA will join ATS’ Process Automation Solutions (“PA”) business, a leading provider of complete automation solutions for the process and manufacturing industries. ZIA will significantly strengthen PA’s position in attractive high-growth automation and digitalisation markets in the region with proven expertise for customers in Pharma, Food & Beverage, Consumer Goods, Petrochemical, Biochemical, and Data Centers, while also accelerating PA’s digitalisation journey. The transaction is subject to the completion of certain closing conditions.
Qualys acquires Blue Hexagon’s AI/Machine learning platform
Qualys, Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS), a pioneer and leading provider of disruptive cloud-based IT, security and compliance solutions, today announced it acquired the assets of Blue Hexagon. This brings AI/machine learning (AI/ML) to the Qualys Cloud Platform to help convert petabytes of highly integrated data into meaningful insights for customers. This acquisition will enable Qualys to leverage its powerful Cloud Platform and its more than 10 trillion data points to uncover behaviour patterns, including active vulnerability exploitation, identification of advanced network threats and adaptive risk mitigation across all assets and applications.
Endava announces the acquisition of Lexicon, Australia
Endava (NYSE “DAVA”) announced the acquisition of Lexicon Digital Pty Ltd and Lexicon Consolidated Holdings Pty Ltd, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia (“Lexicon”). Lexicon is an Australian-based technology consulting, design and engineering firm who partners with clients to build new digital solutions or accelerate digital transformation programs across enterprise systems, products and IoT using an agile delivery methodology. The acquisition of Lexicon enhances Endava’s existing presence in Australia and provides a strong foundation for accelerated in-market growth.
Capgemini acquires Quorsus to reinforce its capital markets service offerings
Capgemini announced the acquisition of Quorsus, a UK-based firm specialising in consultancy services to financial institutions in post-trade technologies, operations, regulatory solutions, and market infrastructure. Its specific industry focus and expertise will allow Capgemini to further support its capital markets clients in addressing not only increasing regulatory requirements, but the need for strategic yet efficient operations across the trading lifecycle.
Digital identity leader ForgeRock to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $2.3 Bn
ForgeRock, a global digital identity leader, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, for $23.25 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion. With this acquisition, Thoma Bravo looks forward to partnering with ForgeRock to leverage its deep sector expertise and support the company to capitalise on this tremendous market opportunity.
Cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 to go private in $4.6 Bn deal with Vista Equity Partners
KnowBe4 Inc agreed to go private in a sweetened $4.6 billion deal with Vista Equity Partners, the latest cybersecurity firm to be snapped up by private equity in this year’s market downturn. KnowBe4’s stock had lost nearly a quarter of its value in 2022 before Vista’s proposal, even as the rise of hybrid work boosted demand for its platform that allows businesses to host security awareness training with simulated phishing attacks. Private equity firms have been scooping up technology companies whose shares have taken a beating this year from worries over rising interest rates and an economic slowdown.
Australia’s cloud-based firm ELMO Software agrees to $A500 Mn takeover offer
Australia’s ELMO Software (ELO.AX) agreed to a near-A$500 million ($319 million) takeover bid from Los Angeles-based K1 Investment Management. The U.S. group offered A$4.85 per share in cash for the cloud-based software solutions business that operates in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
UserTesting to be acquired by Thoma Bravo and Sunstone Partners for $1.3Bn
UserTesting, Inc. (NYSE: USER), a leader in video-based human insight, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, and Sunstone Partners for $7.50 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Following the closing of the transaction, Thoma Bravo and Sunstone Partners intend to combine UserTesting and UserZoom, which Thoma Bravo acquired majority control of in April 2022. UserTesting’s CEO, Andy MacMillan, will lead the combined company. Additionally, the combined company will benefit from the operating capabilities, capital support, and industry expertise of Thoma Bravo and Sunstone Partners.
Google acquires AI avatar startup for $100 million
Google acquired Alter, an artificial intelligence (AI) avatar startup company. TechCrunch reported that the tech giant acquired the company for about $100 million. Alter helps creators and businesses create AI-based virtual avatars to express their virtual identities. According to the report, the acquisition comes as a part of boosting the content game and to compete with short-video platform — TikTok.