Despite not being as prominent as it once was, BlackBerry is still making moves to ensure they remain at the top of their field.
The Waterloo-based enterprise technology company has announced it acquired Cylance for $1.4 billion USD in addition to unvested employee incentive awards. Cylance is a Californian AI and cybersecurity firm that specializes in predictive solutions for endpoint security. The deal is expected to close in February 2019.
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry. “We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.”
BlackBerry Spark is the company’s chip-to-edge communications platform that creates a secure connection between different endpoints. The platform is designed with security in mind first, so the acquisition of Cylance will help BlackBerry shore up its cybersecurity offerings with Spark. Cylance’s machine learning capabilities will also allow BlackBerry to intelligently protect a range of fixed and mobile endpoints as well.
“Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach,” said Stuart McClure, co-founder and CEO of Cylance. “We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”
As BlackBerry moves towards becoming an IoT and enterprise of things (EoT) company, security will be among their top concerns. Cylance currently works with over 3,500 enterprise customers (including 20 per cent fo the Fortune 500) and BlackBerry will look to use their cybersecurity prowess to better position themselves in a growing IoT ecosystem.
BlackBerry has been quietly building out their connected industries over the past few years, working with companies such as Qualcomm and Baidu for connected car solutions. BlackBerry also recently partnered with Ottawa accelerator L-SPARK to help scale young SaaS companies.