- Zimperium, a security provider for mobile devices and applications, said today that it has agreed to sell a controlling stake in the company for $525 million to Steven Mnuchin’s investment firm Liberty Strategic Capital.
- According to CEO Shridhar Mittal, the company is now seeking to accelerate its growth and has contemplated an IPO in the future.
- As part of the arrangement, Mnuchin — a former US Treasury secretary who is currently the founder and CEO of Liberty Strategic Capital — will join the board of directors of Zimperium.
Zimperium, a supplier of security for mobile devices and applications, revealed today that it has agreed to sell a majority share in the company to Steven Mnuchin’s investment firm Liberty Strategic Capital for $525 million. According to CEO Shridhar Mittal, the firm is currently attempting to accelerate its expansion and has considered considering an initial public offering (IPO) in the future.
Mnuchin — once the US Treasury secretary and now the founder and CEO of Liberty Strategic Capital — will join Zimperium’s board of directors as part of the agreement. The transaction is scheduled to be finalized in the second quarter.
According to Proofpoint, 74% of firms will encounter phishing attempts through SMS text messages in 2021, also known as smishing attacks. This compares to 61% in 2020. Meanwhile, Zimperium revealed that active zero-day exploits against mobile devices increased 466 percent in 2021.
With the proliferation of risks such as mobile phishing and zero-day attacks targeting mobile devices, “if these devices have access to business data, they must be safeguarded just like PCs and Macs,” Mittal added.
Zimperium safeguarding mobile devices
According to Mittal, Zimperium stands out in mobile threat defense (MTD), which is used to secure mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Without requiring data to be sent to the cloud, its machine learning (ML) technology identifies assaults on the device itself. According to Mittal, this offers several advantages, including improved user data privacy and lower latency.
On the other hand, most of Zimperium’s rivals in MTD rely on the cloud, he explained. They’ve begun experimenting with on-device functionality. However, Mittal noted that this is not a simple task. They’ve spent years analyzing data and developing machine learning models, utilizing various ways to do this. This is a challenging challenge that none of our rivals could tackle.
According to Gartner, other prominent players in MTD include Check Point, Lookout, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks, Better Mobile Security, Jamf (which purchased Wandera), and Pradeo. Meanwhile, he explained that Zimperium provides app development teams with a scanning engine that can automatically discover issues such as vulnerabilities and policy breaches, allowing teams to address them early in the process.
Mittal said that further options include code protection (through obfuscation of code) and runtime defense with anti-malware technology.
Attraction of customers
Zimperium currently has 500 commercial clients and a total of more than 7,000. Mittal stated that the Dallas-based firm earned a 53 percent increase in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in 2021 and intends to expand at an even quicker rate in 2022. The corporation did not publish its overall sales or annualized gain for the previous year.
Between our competitors and us, they have hardly entered the US market in MTD alone, Mittal explained. As a result, there is enormous potential. The acquisition by private equity firm Liberty Strategic Capital occurred as Zimperium considered its financing alternatives for the company’s next phase of expansion, he explained.
Zimperium now employs 250 people. Along with recruiting, Mittal said the business intends to pursue acquisitions in its main areas of MTD and application security.
Is an initial public offering on the horizon?
The firm may potentially consider going public, he added, citing the enormous growth opportunities ahead and the company’s distinct offerings. While no deadlines for an IPO have been proposed, he said they had explored the potential. They would explore that in the future, Mittal stated.
Liberty Strategic Capital will not possess 100% of Zimperium’s equity under the terms of the arrangement. SoftBank Corp., one investor, and members of the company’s management team and staff are retaining their stakes in Zimperium. Zimperium did not specify the percentage of its equity that Liberty Strategic Capital will buy as part of this arrangement or the deal’s overall value.
Samsung, Warburg Pincus, Sierra Ventures, and Telstra Ventures previously invested in Zimperium. Liberty Strategic Capital has invested in several cybersecurity companies since its formation in 2021, including Cybereason, Contrast Security, and BlueVoyant.