One private equity firm sells Checkmarx to another for $1 billion
The application security company Checkmarx is changing ownership again.
The private equity firm Insight Partners said on Monday it will sell Checkmarx to Hellman & Friedman, another private equity company, at a valuation of $1.15 billion. Insight has owned Checkmarx since June 2015, when investors injected $84 million into the Israeli company. Insight will retain a significant minority stake in Checkmarx under the terms of the deal.
“As cybersecurity threats continue to intensify, we strongly believe that embedding security early in the software development lifecycle is critical,” Tarim Wasim, a partner at Hellman & Friedman, said in a statement. “We look forward to building on Checkmarx’s tremendous success to date and supporting the company’s rapid growth in the years ahead.”
Founded in 2006, Checkmarx says it mitigates enterprise security risk by helping developers find vulnerabilities, then fix them. The company is perhaps best known for discovering a number of bugs in connected devices, like Google and Samsung voice assistants. Its researchers also have uncovered issues in the Amazon Echo, and Soundcloud, among other big name services.
The company now has more than 700 people, and claims about 40 clients from the Fortune 1000. Headcount has grown to about 700 employees, up 73%, from 395 two years ago, CRN reported, with hiring especially aggressive in the engineering and IT departments.
This deal comes after F5 networks purchased Shape Security, another application security firm, for $1 billion in December, and the private equity firm Toma Bravo spent $950 million on the app security vendor Veracode in November 2018.
Private equity deals usually involve mature companies, and typically result in restructuring with an eye on another sale in the future. Hellman & Friedman’s existing portfolio includes the home security companies SimpliSafe and Verisure, the customer software firm Genesys, and a handful of other clients.