HAS-BEEN PHONE MAKER BlackBerry has confirmed it's buying AI cybersecurity specialist Cylance for $1.4bn (around £1.1bn).
Cylance was founded in 2012 by former McAfee/Intel duo Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh. On its website, the Californian firm boasts that it's "revolutionizing cybersecurity" with AI-based solutions that predict and prevent the execution of advanced threats and malware at the endpoint.
The firm has more than 3,500 active enterprise customers, including governments and more than 20 per cent of the Fortune 500.
BlackBerry's acquisition of the Cylance, which is the largest in the company's history, will see it doubling-down on its cybersecurity efforts; the firm says it plans to leverage Cylance to bolster its Spark Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform, and more specifically its UEM and QNX products
Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry, the company said
"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, BlackBerry CEO.
"We believe adding Cylance's capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realising the Enterprise of Things."
Stuart McClure, co-founder and CEO of Cylance, added: "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.
"We are eager to leverage BlackBerry's mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform."
The deal, which is pending regulatory approvals, consists of $1.4bn in cash, plus any unvested employee incentive awards. It is set to close before the end of BlackBerry's current financial year in February 2019. µ
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