Update: After this article was published, Palo Alto Networks confirmed the acquisition for $ 156 million. Our original story is below.
The pandemic and the big shift in the world to do (even) more online have put unprecedented pressure on cybersecurity. Now that looks like one of the big public players in this space, Palo Alto Networks, has made an acquisition that will help them meet this challenge, especially with security tools designed for those working in DevOps to more effectively manage vast volumes of security data.
According to our sources and reports, the company is acquiring deck crew, an Israeli startup that automates the process of network monitoring and security remediation by translating comments into code. Its tools are used by fast growing internet businesses like Robinhood, BetterHelp, and OneMain Financial.
The acquisition was first announced earlier this month in the Israeli press as a deal worth over $ 100 million. Two sources confirmed the talks to us at the time, but said the deal had yet to be reached. Then a report this morning in the Israeli newspaper Calcalist said the acquisition is now valued at around $ 200 million, possibly more if you count the earn-outs.
Sources close to the startup’s investors tell us that the papers have been signed on the deal, so expect an official announcement soon, maybe in about a week.
Spokesmen for both companies previously declined to comment on a deal when we asked them earlier this month. We reconnect with both.
A prize of $ 200 million would represent a strong return for Bridgecrew and its investors.
The startup, supported by Battery Ventures, Operator Partners and more than a dozen others, raised only about $ 18 million, including one $ 14 million Series A last year. According to PitchBook data, Bridgecrew had a valuation of around $ 40 million at the time of this final round.
Cyber security – especially the need for better and more sophisticated solutions to a growing number of breaches in an ever-increasing threat landscape – has been increasingly the focus of attention for years. Indeed, it was one of the rising tides that lifted the Palo Alto Networks boat.
But over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn more attention than ever to cybersecurity and the need to further automate it.
The reason is pretty obvious but bears repeating: As more organizations migrate their operations to distributed, digital-only, cloud-based environments, architectures have become more fragmented, complex and simply larger and larger. more focused on exploitation.
This has presented a challenge for those who keep these operations secure, and it has led to a new wave of businesses. during the last years create automated solutions, merge DevOps with security oversight.
“We founded Bridgecrew because we saw that there was a huge bottleneck in security engineering, in DevSecOps, and how engineers were executing cloud infrastructure security,” said Idan Tendler. , CEO and Co-Founder of Bridgecrew at TechCrunch last year. Others in this larger space include PortShift (which was acquired by Cisco last year), Teeth and many more.
Palo Alto Networks has also builds its own DevOps security tools, notably with Prisma, which it introduced in 2019 and updated last year.
It’s unclear why Palo Alto would choose to supplement this with an external acquisition, but it’s worth noting that Bridgecrew has a specific focus on DevOps security and has been very successful in this area.
Its strong point seems to be customers who are building huge businesses themselves on cloud infrastructure and using automation as part of a larger effort to ensure better cybersecurity practices.
It has clients like Databricks for its flagship Product of the Bridgecrew platform, which provides security analysis and remediation in code form in a wide variety of infrastructure environments. The company said recently that its client base and monthly registrations tripled in the second half of last year.
He also saw a lot of pickup of Checkov, his open source infrastructure as code (IaC) scanner which he says runs on cloud infrastructure in Terraform, CloudFormation, Kubernetes, Arm models or Serverless Framework to detect configuration errors.
Checkov hit the one million download milestone last quarter, a testament to the company’s reputation and traction with the customers Palo Alto seeks to reach.
Notably, Bridgecrew says he’s working on other open source projects, which could also be a goal for Palo Alto here.
Another takeaway from this news is that Israel continues to be fertile ground for the emergence and growth of cybersecurity companies.
“Palo Alto Networks was created by Israeli founders, and Bridgecrew will be the seventh Israeli cybersecurity company Palo Alto has acquired in recent years,” said Avihai Michaeli, senior investment banker and Tel Aviv-based startup advisor.
We’ll update this story as we learn more.