Only a few weeks ago, Denver-based Optiv Security submitted a filing with the SEC announcing its intentions to go public. Today, the company announced its been acquired by private equity investor KKR. Terms were not disclosed, but sources say the deal will be worth about $2 billion.
The 2016 IPO market in tech has been particularly slow, but we’ve seen a marked uptick in private investors snapping up business IT firms. This is especially prevalent in the security space, in which Optiv is a big player.
“Cyber security has been a growing focus and pain point for companies over the last decade, and is now one of the highest priorities for global enterprises,” Herald Chen, co-head of KKR’s Technology, Media & Telecom investment team, said in a statement. “We have been following the cyber security sector very closely over the past several years and believe Optiv represents an attractive investment opportunity given its market leadership as a critical partner and advisor to the Global 1000.”
Security is certainly a hot sector these days, and Optiv is cashing in. In its S-1 filing, it reported more than $937 million in 2015 revenue. That’s big money for a company that’s not even officially two years old. The security solutions provider was first formed early in 2015 when Accuvant and FishNet combined forces, funded by Blackstone and other partners.
Subsequently, Optiv embarked on a series of acquisitions, significantly growing its market presence. The private equity acquisition is not only a logical next step for a company that wants to grow its global presence. It’s also become the new norm in the business cybersecurity space.
KKR has been pouring money into the tech industry in recent years, including acquisitions of cloud-based software provider Epicor and Calabrio, which provides call center software.
Optiv, which is making a big and fast shift toward a service-based model, still operates somewhat as a traditional VAR. The deal reflects a growing trend of resellers-turned-service providers finding big success with packaged solutions, especially as equity firms look for companies with established recurring revenue streams.