While financing into cybersecurity startups has increased steadily since 2010, exits have not seen the same momentum. We used CB Insights data to analyze the exit trends for the cybersecurity industry, as well as identify the cybersecurity investors with the most exits and the top acquirers in the space.
Exit activity in the cybersecurity space reached a high of over 100 exits in 2012 but decreased 27% YoY in 2013 and remained at those levels in 2014. While the majority of these exits have been acquisitions, there have been 15 IPOs in the space since 2010 from a total of 356 private company exits.
Largest Cybersecurity Exits
Palo Alto Networks topped the list of cybersecurity exits with a valuation at the time of exit of $2.8B, followed by NQ Mobile and FireEye which both also exited for over $2 billion (valuation at time of IPO). Airwatch was the largest cybersecurity acquisition, bought by VMWare for over $1.5B. The aggregate exit value of the top 10 cybersecurity exits was nearly $16B.
|1||Palo Alto Networks||IPO|
|4||AirWatch||Acquired by VMWare|
|5||SonicWall||Acquired by Dell|
|6||MANDIANT||Acquired by FireEye|
|7||Trusteer||Acquired by IBM|
|9||SafeNet||Acquired by Gemalto|
Top Cybersecurity Investors – based on # of exits
Intel Capital saw the most exits within cybersecurity since 2010 with more than 10, including PacketMotion and mFormation. Accel came in second with exits including Imperva and Arcot Systems. 11 investors had 5 or more exits since 2010 as detailed below.
|4||Bessemer Venture Partners|
|6||US Venture Partners|
Top Cybersecurity Acquirers
The top acquirer in the cybersecurity space was Google which typically acquired unfunded or early stage companies including Impermium and Divide. McAfee was a close second, with acquisitions that included Stonesoft and ValidEdge. Symantec rounded out the top three, and was the only other acquirer with more than 5 acquisitions since 2010.
*Debt and Grant rounds were not included in this analysis
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