I missed this one last week, but there’s no such thing as being late to report a BDS fail, as these last forever.
Another exit for an Israeli enterprise startup and a deeper move into Israel by one of the world’s tech titans: IBM today announced the acquisition of Trusteer, a specialist in cybersecurity primarily for financial services. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but we have been digging and heard from a source that it’s $1 billion, after Israeli financial paper Calcalist (in Hebrew) earlier reported the deal in the range of between $800 million and $1 billion. If correct, that’s a huge exit: the company had only raised $10.1 million from angels and U.S. Venture Partners.
As part of the deal, IBM will establish a security R&D lab in Tel Aviv, where 200 Trusteer and IBM employees will work on mobile and application security solutions, as well as advanced threat, malware, counter-fraud, and financial crimes solutions. Establishing local operations out of Israeli acquisitions is an oft-treaded route (some believe that this was one of the key tipping points for why Israeli social mapping startup Waze never got bought by Facebook; the social network wanted Waze in Menlo Park while Google, who did end up buying it for over $1 billion, has let Waze keep its dual California-Israel operations.) IBM already had other R&D operations in the country, but this will be their first focused on security specifically. Trusteer had a second headquarters in Boston.
Since first opening for business in 2006, Trusteer has picked up some 300 banking customers, including seven of the top 10 in the U.S. and nine in the UK. Calcalist reports that at the current rate of growth — adding some 25 enterprises each month at the moment — Trusteer projects that it will have 700 customers in two years’ time.
BDSers can shout in front of Max Brener as much as they want, the International Business Machines know what Israel is worth.